How to Remove Recessed Lighting

Anthony Smith

Recessed lighting can add a sleek and modern look to a home or office, but it can also involve a little more work when it comes time to remove it. The very design of the lighting means that the process for removing it is hidden and not obvious. Nevertheless, the method for removing them is not difficult.

  1. Turn off the power to the fixture at the breaker box in order to prevent electrical shock.

  2. Place the stepladder under the light to be removed. Unscrew the light bulb and pull off any decorative trim or metal casing.

  3. Use the screwdriver to loosen the screws that are inside the metal canister of the light. Then gently push the canister up into the ceiling and place it off to the side and out of the way on the ceiling floor.

  4. Take off the cover plate to the wire connection box, remove the plastic screw-on connectors from the wires, and then disconnect them.

  5. Remove the screw that is holding the armored cable wire to the wire connection box and grab the canister from the ceiling floor. Then simply lower it through the hole.


Do an additional test to make sure the power is off by using a circuit tester on the wires exposed when you remove the cover plate to the wire connection box.