How to Change Light Bulbs From High Reaches

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Changing a light bulb that's positioned high above the ground can be a dangerous task and not one recommended for someone who has a fear of heights. Consider three primary ways to accomplish this task: Use a tall ladder, build a scaffold or use an extension pole light bulb changer. The first two options require the help of at least one other person while the third option requires a little skill.

Things You'll Need

  • Tall ladder
  • Assistant
  • Scaffolding
  • Extension pole light bulb changer
  • Position a tall ladder underneath the burned out bulb so that the top of the ladder is slightly behind the fixture. This is important as you want to be working in front of you, not directly above you. While you are on the ladder, it is critical that someone be stationed below to guide people away from the ladder or to foot the ladder if it is on a slight incline.

  • Build a scaffold directly underneath the light fixture. This is a much larger undertaking and requires at least two people. Scaffolding has a number of disadvantages: It is expensive, it can be difficult and timely to construct if you have never done it before, and unless it has wheels, it is immobile.

  • Use an extension, or telescoping, pole light bulb changer to reach the bulb you need to change. These are available in different styles, like one with suction cups for flood lights or stretchable heads for incandescent bulbs. This is the least expensive option and doesn't require a helping hand, but these types of bulb changers are useless if the bulb is installed horizontally, and they can take some time to get used to before you can change a bulb in quick fashion. You can purchase this type of light bulb changer with multiple heads fairly inexpensively.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always wear eye protection when changing light bulbs from high reaches as dust or debris can often rain down.
  • Avoid using the pole light bulb changer if the bulb is broken in the socket.
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