How to Replace Indoor Floodlight Bulbs in the Ceiling

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Things You'll Need

  • Stepladder

  • Phillips-head screwdriver


If you cannot get your fingers around the side of the floodlight bulb to remove it, fold a 12-inch piece of duct over itself with the sticky side facing out. Stick the tape on the center of the bulb, and use the tape as a handle to begin unscrewing the bulb.

Track lighting and recessed ceiling lights sometimes use floodlight bulbs instead of standard bulbs. Floodlight bulbs offer more light in a concentrated area. Most indoor floodlight bulbs screw into a socket much the way a standard bulb does, although some have pins, similar to a side marker bulb for a car. When replacing indoor floodlight bulbs in the ceiling, it is a good idea to remove the old one first. This helps to ensure that you purchase the correct size and type of floodlight for your ceiling fixture.


Step 1

Find the circuit breaker to the lighting system inside your home's electrical panel box, and turn the circuit breaker to the "Off" position. Place a stepladder or a step stool under the ceiling fixture so you can reach the floodlight bulb comfortably without overstretching.


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Step 2

Remove any trim from the fixture, if you are replacing a floodlight bulb in a recessed ceiling fixture. The trim either has screws, requiring a Phillips-head screwdriver to remove them, or simply turns counterclockwise until the connecting tabs release. If you're working on track lighting, position the fixture so it is pointing straight down.


Step 3

Turn the floodlight bulb counterclockwise with your fingers until it completely unscrews from the light socket. Some floodlights use two pins instead of screwing into a socket. If the bulb stops once you turn it counterclockwise a quarter-turn, pull the bulb down slightly. Pin connectors will release without much effort.


Step 4

Replace the floodlight bulb with one that is the same size and has the same connection. Push the pin-type floodlight bulb into the socket and turn the bulb clockwise until it locks in place. If you have the standard screw-in-type floodlight, twist it clockwise until it stops.

Step 5

Reconnect any trim pieces either by twisting them back into the fixture or reattaching them with retaining screws. Turn the circuit breaker back to the "On" position once you finish.