How to Remove Old Recessed Light Housing

Many of us have seen recessed light on our ceilings at one time or another. However, we may not be aware that these fixtures can last for many years and might need to be replaced periodically. Sometimes this fixture lasts for decades and is undetectable by the homeowner till something breaks.

If you have an old recessed light in your home that has never been updated, you may consider changing it. It is surprisingly easy to remove the housing and replace it with a new one. This article will show you How to remove old recessed light housing.

A typical recessed light housing consists of two metal pieces affixed to the ceiling on either side of the light fixture. The top piece contains the bulb socket, while the bottom piece holds the electrical wiring for the light fixture.

How to Remove Old Recessed Light Housing

What Is a Recessed Light?

Recessed light is an electric light fitted into a ceiling or an overhead surface. The recessed light housing is hollow so that it can be built into the surface of a ceiling. When you are considering changing your current lights to recessed lights, you should remove the old recessed lights before installing the new ones. This will ensure that no wires or screws are sticking up from ceilings or surfaces where they cannot be seen.

Recessed Light is an Electric Light Fitted Into a Ceiling

Why Remove the Old Recessed Light Housing?

The old recessed light housing is an important and intricate part of your home that needs to be taken care of. The light housing provides the light and warmth for any room, which is why you should maintain it well to help provide a healthy living environment.

If you have ever had problems with your lighting system in the past, then you know how frustrating it can be when something goes wrong. It’s not fun trying to figure out what went wrong and replacing all of your fixtures at once. You don’t want this problem happening again!

Tools Needed

Many people use their recessed lighting, but eventually, they want to remove it. This article will show you how to remove old recessed light housing and the tools needed to remove the old housing and recessed light bulbs. You will need ;

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Flat-blade screwdriver
  • Roundhead drywall screws
  • Drywall saw
  • Drywall cutting tool
  • Utility knife
  • Safety glasses.

How to Remove Old Recessed Light Housing

This article will give you the step-by-step process to remove old recessed light housing.

Remove the Light Bulbs

Many homeowners are turning to recessed lighting for its energy efficiency. Still, when the time comes to replace your bulbs, you may find yourself in a pickle. The bulb is usually screwed into place with an adhesive that can be difficult to get off without damaging it or the fixture itself. If this happens, you’ll have to buy new fixtures as well.

The Bulb is Usually Screwed Into the Fixture

Remove the Metal Shield

This part of the job requires some skill and patience. You need to carefully pry up on the metal shield until it pops out underneath the trim piece. Once removed, use a flathead screwdriver to gently push down on the plastic cover so that it slides away from the opening.

You Need to Pry Up the Metal Shield Until It Pops Out

Take Out the Screws

Remove all screws holding the light socket together by unscrewing them one at a time. When you’re done, carefully detach the wires from the old bulb and connect the new one to it. Then, get rid of the old one and replace the bulb in place. Reattach the metal shield if necessary.

Remove All Screws Holding the Light Socket

Slide-out the Metal Frame

You’ll need to be very patient as well as talented while working with these tools here, so be sure you slide off the metal frame cover using a small Phillips head screwdriver or similar tool. Then, be careful not to damage the clips holding the metal plate in place when removing the plates.

Take Apart the Housing

The housing will have to be dismantled and replaced in order to repair the damaged part. The first step would be unscrewing all of the screws that hold it together. Once removed, carefully pry up on each side until the housing comes away from the light assembly. You may need help here because some parts can get stuck.

Use a Bucket to Catch Debris

During the process of removing the recessed light, use a bucket to catch any debris that may fall out from the ceiling. You can also use an empty paint can for this purpose.

Mistakes Homeowners Make With Recessed Lighting

Many homeowners make the mistake of installing recessed lights too close to the wall or ceiling because they want to use small recessed lights and not large fixtures. This is a bad idea because it will cause shadows in your room. Also, if you have many windows, you should install them at least 18 inches above the floor so that there is no glare coming into your home.

Tips and Tricks

We have already discussed the process of removing old recessed light housing. Here are some tips and tricks to do the task perfectly

When installing recessed lights, it is important to make sure that the insulation is sealed tight to the edge of the ceiling for safe electrical insulation. You can do this with polyurethane. It also helps to seal off any gaps between the light fixture and the ceiling by using caulk around the edges of the hole where the bulb goes through. If you do this correctly, you won’t need to worry about moisture getting inside the house from condensation on the bulbs.


Recessed lights are embedded into the ceiling, below the surface. The housing is usually metal and can be removed if necessary.
Precautions should be taken when removing the recessed light housing so that you do not damage the insulation or wiring in your ceiling. follow these instructions given bellow

  • Face the light fixture
  • Cover the exposed glass with a towel
  • Remove the screws holding in the housing.
  • Place a towel on the floor and set the housing on it.
  • Carefully pry back and remove the broken or loose glass.
  • Dispose of all broken materials in a safe way


The recessed lighting system in your home can be quite useful when it’s in working order. They provide plenty of illumination during the day, and they’re perfect for spots that don’t get enough natural light. However, when you notice that your lights are not as bright as they once were, or if there is a flickering, buzzing noise coming from them, it may be time to replace the old housing.

Frequently Asked Related Questions

How to Remove a 4-Inch Recessed Light?

Cutting off power to a four-inch recessed light can be facilitated using a few simple steps. The first step is to turn off the power to the light by turning off the breaker or removing the fuse. Once the power is off, remove the cover plate of the light. You can do this by unscrewing it or prying it off. Once the faceplate has been removed, unscrew the screws that retain the light in place.

How to Remove Retrofit Recessed Lighting?

Removing a recessed light is a process that involves a few simple steps. Turn off the power to the light by turning off the main switch. Next, remove the cover of the light housing. You can usually do this by unscrewing it. Once the cover is off, you should be able to see the light bulb. Remove the light bulb from the electrical outlet, and disconnect the plug wire from its attachment. Finally, reattach the cover and screw it back on.

How to Update Recessed Can Lights?

Recessed can lights are a type of light fixture that is installed in the ceiling. Updating recessed can light provides ambient room lighting. First, turn off the power to ceiling lights by turning off the circuit breaker. Then pull the cover off of the recessed can lights by unscrewing it. Once the cover of the can lights is removed, you’ll see the light bulb.

How to Repair Recessed Lighting Hole?

To repair a recessed lighting hole, one must first identify the cause of the hole. Common causes of recessed lighting holes are impact damage from either dropped objects or people walking around the room or water infiltration. Once the cause is identified, the appropriate repair can be made. If the hole is from impact damage, then a patch can be used to fill in the hole and then painted to match the surrounding surface.

You Can Use Patch to Fill the Hole

How to Unscrew Light Fixture?

The first step is to identify the type of light fixture that needs to be unscrewed. There are different types of light fixtures, so it is important to know which one needs to be unscrewed. The next step to shut down the light switch is to prevent the individual from getting injured. The third step is to locate the screws on the light fixture. There are usually two or four screws that need to be unscrewed.

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