How to Loosen Recessed Light Bulbs

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Recessed light bulbs present a challenge when you want to remove them, possibly to replace them with a different type of bulb, or to change out a blown bulb. Aside from the fact that the recessed light is often a ceiling light, the light bulb is often so close to the fixture surrounding it, you don't have the room to get your fingers around the bulb to unscrew and remove it. Use a bit of ingenuity to loosen the bulb.

Things You'll Need

  • Step ladder
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Turn the light off, and allow it time to cool off.

  • Cut off a length of duct tape, about 12 inches long, using scissors. Position a step ladder underneath the recessed light, and climb the ladder to a height where you can comfortably reach up to the light bulb without straining.

  • Stick the middle section of the duct tape onto the center of the recessed light bulb. Fold each end of the duct tape back over itself, and grip the two ends between your thumb and forefinger, along with possibly your middle finger.

  • Twist the duct tape counter-clockwise with a quick turn of your wrist, so that the light bulb turns counter-clockwise along with the tape. Continue twisting the duct tape until the bulb loosens out of the recess far enough for you to grip its sides with your fingers and screw it the rest of the way out.

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