How to Change a Recessed Pot Light


Recessed pot lights are an attractive way to light rooms in your home. Although it rarely happens, fixture can become faulty and not work properly. When this happens you need to know how to change a recessed pot light.

Pot lights are available at big box hardware stores. To avoid cutting a larger hole, measure the outside diameter of the existing light. Purchase a fixture that has the same diameter as the old fixture.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • New pot light
  • Turn the circuit breaker off to the light fixture. The circuit breaker is inside the home electrical panel. Turn the light switch to the fixture on and off to make sure that the power is disconnected.

  • Pop off the light cover with your fingers. Use your fingers to unscrew the light bulb from the fixture. If the light bulb is still relatively new, you can use the bulb in the new fixture.

  • Use a Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the screws securing the light baffle to the fixture. The baffle is the decorative trim that surrounds the fixture. Push the fixture up into the ceiling and move the fixture to one side.

  • Tilt the fixture at an angle and pull the fixture through the hole in the ceiling. The pot light secures to the ceiling with springs. You have to angle the fixture to enable the springs to come through the ceiling without catching.

  • Unscrew the plastic wire caps from the fixture junction box after you have pulled the fixture out of the ceiling enough to access the wires. Some fixture may have the wires connecting to junction terminals. Use a Phillips-head screwdriver to loosen the terminal and remove the wires.

  • Loosen the clamp that secures the wire cable to the junction box with a screwdriver and pull the wire out of the fixture junction box. Take the old fixture completely out of the ceiling and set the fixture aside.

  • Insert the wire cable through the new pot light fixture junction box. Attach the house wires to the fixture by either screwing the wires into the junction box terminals or attaching the wires to the junction box wires with plastic wire caps. Tighten the wire retaining clamp around the house cable with a screwdriver.

  • Place the junction box end of the new fixture inside the ceiling hole first. Push the remaining fixture body into the ceiling until the springs grab the ceiling from above. Attach the baffle to the light fixture using the supplied retaining screws and a screwdriver.

  • Screw a light bulb into the new light fixture and snap the fixture cover into place according to the manufacturers instructions. Turn the circuit breaker back on to the light fixture.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always disconnect electrical power before working on electrical equipment.

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