How to Change a 2-Pin Halogen Light Bulb?

Changing bulbs is easy. That’s why we have all those funny changing a light bulb jokes

However, changing a halogen bulb is not that easy. There are some factors to consider, particularly for your own safety.

This article will teach you how to change a 2-pin halogen light bulb, the GU4 in particular.

Different 2-pin halogen bulbs:

1. MR8

This is the smallest halogen bulb.

It requires a 2-pin GU4 fitting. The GU4 fitting has 2 pins, 4 mm apart. The only bulbs that use the GU4 fitting are MR7 and MR11.

The MR8 has a 25-mm diameter and is mainly used in novelty lights and for the interior of low-voltage vehicles such as RVs, buses, yachts, and boats.


Like the MR8, it is a small bulb and it too uses the GU4 2-pin fitting.

The MR11 has a 35-mm diameter, and is mostly used in track and ceiling spot lighting.

3. MR16

This is the most commonly used halogen bulb.

It uses a GU5.3 fitting. The GU5.3 has 2 pins, 5.3 mm apart, and is use in MR16s.

The MR16 has a 50-mm diameter and has wide use in track and ceiling spot lighting. However, LED replacements are phasing out halogen MR16s.

 4. GU10

The GU10 is a high-voltage halogen spot light mostly used in the household.

It uses a GU10 fitting, which has 2 pins and is twist and lock. That means you should be cautious when replacing the GU10 as they require some twisting to open. Furthermore, halogen bulbs typically get very hot and can burn you if you touch them with your bare hands.

The GU10 fitting features 2 pins that are 10 mm part. Where halogen bulbs are concerned, this fitting is only used in the GU10 bulb.  It is also used in variants such as compact fluorescent lighting (CFL).

The GU10 bulb has a 50-mm diameter, and is typically used in for home spot lighting, track and rail lamps, and standing and ceiling lamps.

We will pick the GU10 bulb out of these 2-pin halogen bulbs and describe the steps you should take when changing a GU10 bulb.

Changing the GU10 Bulb by Hand – Procedure:

1. Switch off Power

To avoid being electrocuted when changing the bulb, turn the power switch off before you do anything. This is changing bulb 101, safety first.

Furthermore, you should wait for the bulb to cool down before proceeding. Halogen bulbs run really hot, far more than other bulb types. Touching a halogen bulb when it’s hot could cause nasty burns.

Proceed once it has cooled down

2. Something to Stand on

If the bulb is too high to reach comfortably, don’t strain to stand on tiptoe. Find a stool or a ladder or a chair that you can stand on and reach the bulb with ease.

You need to be in a high enough position that you can comfortably move your elbows around a standing on tiptoe and trying to change the bulb with your finger tips simply won’t work.

3. Glove Up

Halogen bulbs are sensitive to skin oils left on them when touched by bare hand. This oil heats up when the bulb is activated, and this can make the bulb explode. That’s why you must wear gloves when you are changing a halogen bulb.

Why would you care about that if you are changing the bulb anyway? Well, it could turn out that the bulb is only loose and not burned out, so won’t need replacing.

See Also: Halogen Headlight Bulbs Reviews

4. Press Inward

Inwardly press on the GU10 bulb that is currently screwed in place in the right fixture. Use both of your thumbs.

Maintain a constant grip and pressure on the bulb with your thumbs while you slowly turn the bulb counterclockwise.

When it can’t stop turn any further, stop pushing it inward. The rotation should be about 90 degrees.

5. Pull

Now pull it out of the socket. Wiggle the bulb gently as it emerges, just to ensure the bulb the come out cleanly.

Take care that you do not drop it, especially considering you are standing on a ladder.

6. The New Bulb

Now remove your new bulb from its packaging, remembering to keep your gloves on throughout this process.

7. Press Inward

Press the bulb inward into the socket, twisting it clockwise to the limit. Once you are done, get off the ladder and turn the lights back on.

Final Verdict

Once you know the steps to follow, changing a 2-pin halogen light bulb is not that hard. The main thing you have to remember is not to touch the bulb with your bare hands. Always wear gloves.

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