I am trying to remove GU10 lightbulbs from a light fixture. The fixture makes it very difficult to grip the edges of each bulb (only about 3-4mm clearance).

Is there a lifehack to remove GU10 lightbulbs from such fixtures?

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    <comment removed> @computercarguy Please stop answering questions in comments. Comments do not have the features needed to vet or edit whatever you say here. If you have a proper answer, please post it in the 'answer' section. Thank you. Commented Nov 20, 2017 at 20:43
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    If you post a picture of the bulb in its fitting, it might be easier for the community to work something out. The bit that’s stuck is sometimes the bulb itself (where it plugs in), and sometimes the fitting around the bulb (to get to the bulb).
    – Lawrence
    Commented Nov 21, 2017 at 22:50
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    @Lawrence I'll try to get a photo. The part that is stuck is the bulb itself (where it plugs in). Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 5:51
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    @RobertCartaino and the policing of answers (often for good reasons) is so rigorous (in this and other forums) that those with something to add, to suggest or a need ask for clarification have no other route to do so. Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 14:34
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    GU10 lightbulb an image for reference.
    – David
    Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 15:40

8 Answers 8


I have this exact problem with one of my light fittings. When I bought the light, it came supplied with a special sucker for removing and refitting the bulbs. Stupidly, I used the device when the bulb was hot - and melted the soft rubber.

What I now do is to use disposable latex gloves, pushing the front glass quite firmly with the extra grip of the thumbs is enough to turn the bulb for removal and refitting. If you have normal household rubber gloves, this will probably work even better, but I just happen to have latex ones and none of the others.

Be aware, some (cheaper) GU10s have a very thin piece of glass with a square edge that is bonded to the front of the bulb. This square edge is razor sharp and will slice your thumb open without the gloves. Even with the gloves it is possible to cut yourself. Know your enemy!

Extra tip - when you replace the bulbs next time, get really high quality LED bulbs. Not only will you get all of the standard benefits of LED bulbs, but they will last for around 7 years so you will minimise the number of times you need to change them in the future.

  • I've added a link to such a tool below Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 16:11
  • @bigbadmouse Nice find! When I destroyed my one, (about 7 years ago) I could not find a replacement on the web at all. A really good local lighting shop had never heard of such a thing either - hence my resorting to the gloves idea. Most of mine are now LEDs though, so changing bulbs is largely a thing of the past.
    – Lefty
    Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 17:11

I believe you could use suction pad with diameter smaller than size of light bulb. GU10 lightbulbs are usually flat so suction pad can easly adhere to this ligthbulb. Then you could catch suction pad to unscrew lightbulb.

I think one of these could be used as they have screws attached so it might be easier to catch with some tool.

  • good suggestion but isnt this just replicating the suction device they normally come with, rather than a lifehack as such? Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 14:36
  • @bigbadmouse: Well, usually you din't get suction device with GU10 light fixture. At least I had never heard about such before reading Lefty's answer
    – running.t
    Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 14:42
  • It wasn't really a criticism of you, honestly. I've always got them with the fixtures - you can buy them here ebay.co.uk/itm/… Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 15:44
  • Wow, buying such sounds like a lifehack even better than mine. You should definatelly post it as an answer. I'll upvote :)
    – running.t
    Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 15:51
  • I have added a answer below. Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 16:11

I always got one of these when I bought a fixture - link to ebay GU10 tool

its an answer to your stated problem however since it comes with a fixture when bought new, its not really a lifehack as such

edit: this is better as you get leverage link to amazon tool with a handle

  • Thanks. Don't those just tear off the glass surface on halogen GU10 bulbs? Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 18:29
  • no, they're really tough - I've often needed to worm a knife under the lip to break the seal. Commented Nov 23, 2017 at 8:52

A piece of flexible plastic tubing that just fits over the bulb makes a handle. This is also helpful in changing bulbs with broken glass.

If you can't find a tube of the right size, tape some plastic sheet together to make a tube, or better, a slight cone, so that it slips over the bulb and grips tightly. Gentle warming makes the plastic stick to the glass better.

A plastic soda bottle may also work:
Soda-bottle bulb remover


If you can put some adhesive tape in the 3-4mm space, and press it against the side of the bulb (maybe with a paper clip, tooth pick, spatula, or some other slim implement), you may be able to pull the bulb out of the socket with the tape. I would do 2 pieces of tape, with the first one opposite the second one (180 degrees away).

  • see the tool I found on ebay - link above Commented Nov 23, 2017 at 8:55

Wad up a piece of 2" adhesive tape, sticky side out. Push it firmly onto the face of the bulb, and use it as a knob-shaped handle to twist. Reading the prior answers - and staring into the miscellaneous kitchen stuff drawer - got the idea. Just now used it on a dozen bulbs - both taking out the old ones, and putting in the new LED ones.

For these fixtures, also needed to drop the socket a 1/4" or so while pulling the old bulb, so the replacement had room to push in a bit, before twist-locking into place.

  • Nice idea! Thanks! Upvoted. How did you drop the socket? Commented Nov 6, 2021 at 23:19

What i found works is get a plastic bag and cover the light get a par of pliers or channel locks. Brake the glass covering the bulb( wear safety goggles then grab the light with pliers or channel locks just enough to grip ( try not to break the bulb ) and twist counter clockwise should come out.

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    Thank you! Just a quick note that in the rare event that GU10 bulbs come in fluorescent, you definitely don't want to break them, as hazardous mercury vapor will be released. That said, I've personally never seen a fluorescent GU10 bulb. Commented Jan 9, 2020 at 5:12

Based on pictures (not having actually seen these bulbs), I would get a small piece of wood, perhaps 3 cm on a side, then coat the top in hot glue. I would press it up against the bulb until it bonds. Wait ten minutes. Then unscrew the wood.


  • Standard hot glue (EVA) is mostly debonded with alcohol (IPA or ethyl). A spray bottle of rubbing alcohol can help you get the wood block off it it was stuck wrong.
  • If the bulb is inset deeper than the ceiling, use enough hot glue to fill the gap, or use a smaller piece of wood or wood shaped like the bulb (so it can stick without the ceiling blocking it).

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