How to Fix a Recessed Light That Is Too High

According to Lighting Showplace, recessed lighting addresses many lighting issues in your home from general lighting, task lighting and even accent lighting. Trim designs vary greatly because of the versatility of recessed lighting and depending on the trim you choose, your recessed light socket can be too high to correctly accommodate the trim and the light bulb. Lower a recessed light to fit the bulb and the trim to your recessed light, giving your light a more pleasing appearance and allowing the trim and the bulb to work together for your lighting needs.

Step 1

Turn off the electrical power to the recessed light by turning the breaker off in the main electrical panel.

Step 2

Remove the light bulb from the recessed light and remove the light trim. The recessed lighting trim attaches to the recessed light can by small springs that attach to the trim and then attach to the keyhole slots located in the socket plate; release the springs to remove the trim. Some trims will attach by butterfly springs held in the recessed housing by tension placed on L-tabs located on the inside wall of the housing. This type of trim is removed by grasping the trim with your hands where it meets the ceiling and pulling directly down toward the floor. This exposes the butterfly springs, allowing you to squeeze the spring wires toward each other and pulling them out of the L-tabs and from the recessed housing.

Step 3

Lower the socket plate. The recessed light can socket is attached to a socket plate held stationary by a wing nut. Loosen the wing nut by turning it counterclockwise with your fingers and lower the socket plate to your desired height.

Step 4

Attach the recessed lighting trim, using the springs that you detached in Step 2, and replace the light bulb.

Step 5

Turn on the electrical power to the recessed light by turning the breaker on in the main electrical panel.


  • Always make sure that the electricity is off to the area you are working in to avoid electrical shock.

About the Author

Cecilia Harsch has been writing professionally since 2009. She writes mainly home improvement, health and travel articles for various online publications. She has several years of experience in the home-improvement industry, focusing on gardening, and a background in group exercise instruction. Harsch received her Certified Nurses Assistant license in 2004. She attended Tarrant County College and studied English composition.