How to Remove Recessed Light Trim

Learn how to remove, install, and replace recessed light trim for 5″ & 6″ can lights.

Additional information includes: how to adjust the light bulb height to control light output, how to find bulb compatibility for the recessed light, and how to switch to a different style of recessed light trim.

Replacement Recessed Lighting Parts and Trim

Contact your local lighting and electrical supply stores for available recessed light trim and replacement parts. Many will have a parts department for the items needed. Torsion (butterfly) springs are mounted to the trim piece and are not replaceable for all makes and models.

However, the recessed light trim coil springs are always a separate item. Home Depot stocks Halo brand trim springs.

Recessed Lighting Brands

Bulb / Lamp Brands

For assistance on lamps, bulb alternatives, etc., please refer to the following lighting manufacturers.

Recessed Light Housing and Bulb Information

  • Bulb / Lamp Industry Changes – Federal regulations have…and will continue to phase out certain types of bulbs that may be listed on older model light housings. E.g., GE Lighting has a guideline for alternative light bulb replacements.
  • PAR w/ L or LN in Bulb # – The L or LN stands for long neck. There is also a short neck version that won’t work with certain trims.
  • Insulated Ceiling (IC) – IC listed housings are designed to be fully wrapped with insulation without fear of a fire being created.
  • Terms like Air-Tite®Air-Loc®, etc., which vary per manufacturer, prevent air movement and are also used for wet locations.

NOTE: The previous installer may have broken a mount, rod, or lost a spring and chose to adhere the defective recessed light trim to the ceiling for installation. Removal of trim in this instance will cause ceiling damage, resulting in repair, and the need for a new trim piece.