How to Change Light Bulbs Where You Can't Reach

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Things You'll Need

  • Reacher grabber

  • Safety goggles

  • Replacement bulb

Image Credit: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Light bulbs that are too high for you to reach commonly will not have globes or a shade. Most often, these types of lights are recessed into the ceiling, especially in high vaulted ceilings. Most homeowners do not have step ladders that are over 20 feet tall to reach these types of light fixtures. You can change a light bulb that you can't reach with the use of a telescoping reacher grabber, which acts like an extension to your arm and has a trigger or squeeze handle that will operate the suction cups or jaws on the other end of the tool. Reacher grabbers are available at home improvement centers.


Step 1

Turn off the wall switch to the fixture with the faulty bulb. Put on a pair of safety goggles to protect your eyes. Often these bulbs have not be changed in some time. There will be debris from spider webs and dust that will fall when you change the bulb. The safety goggles will protect your eyes from these particles.


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Step 2

Unfold the grabber reacher until it extends fully. Some grabber reachers use a twist motion to extend the arm of the grabber.

Step 3

Position the grabbers jaws or suction cup over the end of the light bulb. Squeeze the trigger handle to open the jaws or expand the suction cup. Position the bulb end of the reacher around the circumference of the light bulb until you feel resistance. Release the trigger slowly to engage the jaws or suction cup.


Step 4

Twist the grabber reacher counter-clockwise to unscrew the bulb from the socket. Gently lower the end of the grabber reacher and remove the bulb from the tool.

Step 5

Place a new bulb into the grabber reacher tool end and raise the bulb end to the socket. Turn the grabber reacher clockwise to screw the bulb into the socket. This will take some patience, especially the first time you use the tool. Continue turning until the bulb will not turn easily into the socket. Do not attempt to tighten any further because you could cause the bulb to break.


Step 6

Squeeze the trigger handle to open the jaws or release the suction cup. Fold the reacher up for storage. Turn on the wall switch to the light fixture.


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