49 votes
Accepted

Is there a way to unscrew a light bulb that has broken?

With the power off at the breaker, and verified with a non-contact tester, I've always just used a pair of needle nose pliers to grip the rim of the bulb base and turn it to remove. If the bulb is ...
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  • 27.1k
37 votes

How do I change a light bulb I can't grip?

Take a piece of duct tape and wrap it in the shape of an "O", with the sticky side of the tape on the outside. Stick the loop of tape to the face of the light bulb such that it is secure. Put your ...
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  • 515
32 votes

Is there a way to unscrew a light bulb that has broken?

In a pinch, if you lack a bulb remover, you can use a potato to remove a broken light bulb. Essentually, you just cut it to a size that'll fit into the socket, but engage with whatever's left of the ...
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  • 319
29 votes
Accepted

What is the device attached to my recessed light junction box?

It is a thermal protector for a recessed ceiling light. It will cut out the light if the temperature of the outside of the fixture exceeds the rating of the protector. All UL approved fixtures will ...
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  • 53.1k
25 votes
Accepted

Do new wire runs in an existing ceiling need to be stapled down?

If you are not removing more drywall than needed for the new recessed lights, then no per 334.30(B)(1) (assuming you are using NM cable). There are similar clauses for other flexible cable assemblies (...
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19 votes

How do I change a light bulb I can't grip?

Get a light bulb changer pole at your local home improvement store or your favorite hardware store. The ones with suction cups are best for flood lights, where the face of the bulb is a little flatter,...
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  • 5,686
16 votes
Accepted

Can I put a recessed light in a shower?

National Electrical Code is pretty clear on this, at least as of the 2014 version. It says that if the fixture is above the tub or shower, and within 8 ft. vertically from the top of the bathtub rim ...
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  • 128k
12 votes

Is there a way to unscrew a light bulb that has broken?

I've never been all that comfortable with @Steven's solution, as it's hard to be sure the power to the light is off when the bulb is broken so you can check, unless you shut off the whole house (or ...
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  • 132k
12 votes

How do I change a light bulb I can't grip?

There's a company that makes suction cup hooks/hangers. You put the suction cup on an object and swing the hook. I'll bet you could attach one of these to the glass and use it to unscrew the bulb. ...
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  • 1,365
12 votes
Accepted

Why can the connections of a recessed light be buried in drywall, but not junction boxes?

If you search this on the internet you will find the fixture can be disassembled and the j-box can be accessed through the hole that the fixture is in. Therefore the joints are still accessible. Like ...
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  • 19.3k
9 votes

How do I change a light bulb I can't grip?

Another trick is to pull the trim out with the bulb but not all trims connect the same. Some use springs, some clip into a socket, while others are sealed. But usually works for me because I do it ...
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  • 4,765
9 votes

How can I warm up my new LED recessed lighting

LED (and other) light bulbs are available in a variety of different color temperatures. Look at the packaging for the bulbs you bought. Are they labelled as "cool white" or "daylight" with a color ...
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  • 8,017
9 votes

Do new wire runs in an existing ceiling need to be stapled down?

Electricians "fish" wires through existing homes by the thousands every day without stapling. Staple if you can (every 4' in attics, within 12" of all boxes), and don't if you can't. Use some common ...
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  • 104k
9 votes

Do new wire runs in an existing ceiling need to be stapled down?

In addition to good answers by @statuephemism and @isherwood, it's worth mentioning why you might want to staple and why in your case it probably doesn't matter. First reason to staple is to keep ...
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  • 689
8 votes
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How do I access the light in this recessed can?

The shroud around the bulb should just pull down and out a few inches before the tension wires lock. If it seems really solid then someone probably painted then replaced before drying and glued it ...
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8 votes

How to remove old-work ceiling light fixture box attached to conduit pipes

Removing this box is not a good solution when there are rigid conduits bringing wires into this existing box. The main reason for this is that those wires would still need to terminate into an ...
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  • 61k
8 votes

How to remove old-work ceiling light fixture box attached to conduit pipes

You need to stop destroying stuff right now. Since your project is this light, you are assuming the universe is gracious enough to have ALL the wires in these conduits be ONLY about this light. That ...
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7 votes

How do I change a light bulb I can't grip?

Use oven mitts with silicone grips Works like magic for opening light fixtures, changing light bulbs, opening jars, and so on. If you don't have silicone oven mitts, you can try a silicone baking ...
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  • 321
7 votes

Is 18 AWG wire with peeling outer insulation still good to use?

I rebuild real fluorescent fixtures with modern ballasts and use them as fluorescent (rather than convert to LED). What you're looking at there is TFN or TFFN wire. Very similar to THHN wire, but in #...
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6 votes

PAR 38 LED in a PAR 30 recessed can

First the good news: Electrically it would be fine as long as the PAR38 bulb's wattage does not exceed the receptacle's maximum wattage. In the case of an LED bulb replacing an incandescent household ...
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  • 835
6 votes
Accepted

Help identifying possible dual pot light plug

Thos MR16 GU5.3 light bulbs are 12 volt bulbs. The GU10 bulbs are 120 volt. There is little to zero chance that this is some sort of "Dual Socket". And if it were, it would still likely be ...
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  • 1,665
6 votes

Existing 20amp tandem breaker with 14/2 wires for basement light

Breaker is the wrong size The core problem is #14 wire on 20A breakers - you have to address that! Extending the circuit with #12 does not fix the problem! You must deal with the #14/20A problem. The ...
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6 votes

LED "Can" lights not working all over my house

I realize you're used to buying "light bulbs" - just as your grandfather bought "vacuum tubes" for the radio and TV. However, then transistors came along, which were a solid-state,...
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5 votes
Accepted

Recessed LED lighting orange connectors

I searched far and wide to find a solution for this for my own remodel. The orange connectors used by most of the lighting manufacturers is a standard IDEAL product - you can order them online in ...
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  • 66
5 votes
Accepted

Can I cut the recessed lighting housing rails to make them fit in joists 12" apart?

You can trim the rails so they will fit in a tighter space. Look close there are usually indents in the metal to help with cutting and snapping the rail to a shorter length. This is part of a normal ...
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  • 95.4k
5 votes
Accepted

Should I use remodel or new construction recessed fixtures when installing a new ceiling?

Scenario #4 I would just remove all the old drywall and use new construction fixtures. It may seem like a lot of work but all these other problems go away. Plus my "drywall guy" would throw a hissy ...
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  • 19.3k
5 votes

remove a recessed light can

Chances are that this fixture was installed at the time of the home's construction. It'll likely have two crossbars that were installed across the gap between the two adjacent roof trusses or floor ...
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  • 104k
5 votes

How to remove / fix recessed light trim

Almost all recessed light trim rings are held in place by spring clips that grip the interior of the recessed can. However, some of those clips have sharp prongs to better grip the can. You often ...
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  • 33.1k
5 votes
Accepted

How to organize multiple electrical wires going into an ultra thin recessed light?

Use an old work box to house the splices There's a simple way out of this, and that's to use an old work box mounted into the ceiling drywall to house the electrical splices. A 3 gang switch box ...
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5 votes
Accepted

What is the technical term for this style lighting?

Indirect lighting. example here Usually the light source is hidden by an archtectural feature, so the feature is constructed by normal building means and then the light source is hidden in it. At ...
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  • 13.2k

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