How To Change A Bulb In A High Ceiling

It is quite magnificent to have high ceilings in your sweet home; however, problems start to arise when those lights in the ceiling start to dim. Now that it is time to replace old and rusty bulbs, you might be in a pickle to decide on which approach to take. One simply does not gallivant and switch lights that easily. You will definitely need a few tools and tricks to replace the bulbs, and that’s where we come in.

Through a few easy steps, we will guide you on how to change a bulb in a high ceiling with adequate safety and ease. When it comes to dealing with electrical appliances, you must never throw caution to the wind. Especially if the bulb is in a high position, you have the risk of not only getting injured by electrocution but also falling down and hurting yourself.

Let us begin by introducing you to the necessary tools, and eventually, we will break down the entire procedure.

How To Change A Bulb In A High Ceiling: 11 Easy Steps
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Tools Needed For How to Change a Bulb In A High Ceiling

First, you need to reach the light that is at a high altitude with robust support. Since you have a high ceiling, you should not use chairs or things that are not stable enough to bear your weight. We want to go as far as to advise you against using just any ladder. Choose the steel ladder where you can climb up without the risk of tipping over and have another person hold it to ensure maximum safety.

It is also important to note that your ceiling may be higher to reach with standard step ladders available in the market. In that case, you can use an extension pole to reach the bulb to replace it.

After you have sorted out the height issue, do not just climb up and start rolling the bulb. That might either burn your hand or throw you to another corner of the room with an electric shock. Always remember to use a bulb grabber or a glove that is resistant to heat and electricity. We will elaborate a few tips in regards to this issue later on in this how to change a bulb in a high ceiling guide.

Now that you have climbed up the ladder with a glove and started to rotate the old bulb, it occurs to you that you have not brought the most important stuff, the new bulb! Remember to keep the new bulbs and a few backups with you so that you can test the socket in case the first new light does not work.

Once you have all the tools you need, it is time to replace the light in height and lit up the room. Once again, we are reminding you not to ignore the safety measures to reach the ceiling and to touch the bulb.

How To Change A Bulb In A High Ceiling: 11 Easy Steps
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Step By Step Guide On How To Change A Bulb In A High Ceiling

You have gone to the store or to your neighbor and brought the step ladder and ready with new bulbs and bulb grabber and started thinking, “Now what?” Without further ado, let us go through the process of how to change a bulb in a high ceiling step-by-step:

Step 1: Don’t Touch the Warm Bulb

You must resist the temptation of doing a quick swap of bulbs, even with a grabber or a glove. Electric bulbs can generate a lot of heat, and you may injure yourself even with those tools. You may not be able to hold the bulb, and it will create another mess if it falls and breaks. Wait at least 60 minutes after you have turned the switch off before touching the bulb.

Step 2: Climb with A Step Ladder

If you have reached this section, you already know how crucial it is to use a proper ladder to reach high places. Unstable surfaces such as beds, chairs, or tables can throw you off balance.

You can easily reach the bulb if the height of your ceiling is around 10 feet with a step ladder. Also, for maximum safety, have someone standing with the ladder to make sure you are not in danger of falling down.

Step 3: Reach Higher Bulbs with An Extension Pole

Your rusty bulb might be in a higher height than 10 feet, and in that case, you have to utilize an extension pole. They are available in stores of home equipment in the area.

Such poles will provide you additional maneuverability to reach 30 to 35 feet high ceiling bulbs with options to grip and replace them. If you use this pole, it won’t make you wonder how to change a bulb in a high ceiling without a high-enough ladder.

How To Change A Bulb In A High Ceiling: 11 Easy Steps
image credit:Canva

Step 4: Potatoes for Grabbing Rusty Bulbs

This sounds quite unbelievable, I know, but hear me out. You can use a potato (not a tool, the veggie) to remove a broken bulb with ease and safety. After the bulb has cooled, take a potato and slice it halfway. Then push the half portion of it against the broken bulb and rotate it counterclockwise till the bulb comes off. Sadly, you can no longer devour this potato, and you have to throw it in the trash with the glass shards.

Although the potato process is safe, you still might not feel comfortable removing the bulb with it. Then again, if the bulb is not broken, you can’t really use a potato. Let us suggest an alternative to potato in how to change a bulb in a high ceiling

Step 5: Use A Bulb Grabber

First, connect the bulb grabber to the extension pole you have bought. Then gently reach the bulb you want to replace. If you make quick movements, you might end up with a broken bulb and have to bring the potato again. Once you’ve got a hold of the bulb with the grabber, turn it in a counterclockwise direction until it comes off completely.

You need to be especially careful while choosing the appropriate grabber for your bulb. High-ceiling bulbs are sometimes halogen in nature, and you might need a grabber with a longer diameter in this case.

Be sure to test out the grip before reaching for the bulb and take note of the length of the handle so that it matches the required height of the ceiling. Some bulb grabbers have screws that let you adjust the grip to different sizes of bulbs.

How To Change A Bulb In A High Ceiling: 11 Easy Steps
image credit:canva

Step 6: Protect Your Hands with Gloves

Whether you are using a pole or not, make sure you are wearing rubber gloves to ensure maximum safety. Especially if you’re directly replacing the bulb without an extension pole, you must take rubber protection to save your hands from heat or getting electrocuted.

Moreover, when you are wearing gloves, the bulb won’t just slip off your hands. For additional safety, you can wear goggles so that dust won’t fall in your eyes and throw your balance off.

Step 7: Careful On The Choice of Bulbs

While we are saving our hands with gloves and our back with ladders, let us think about how we can save money and time with a wise choice of bulbs. You should always go with bulbs that consume less energy since they can save as much as 220-230$ per annum. Moreover, you will be making a smart choice if you go for bulbs that last as long as ten years. Not only will it reduce your hassle of climbing ladders and changing bulbs every now and then, but it will also reduce harmful electronic waste.

You may also consider bulbs that are self-charging if you have high-ceiling rooms. These bulbs look just like regular bulbs while conserving energy in case of power loss. Even on stormy days, or power outages, they will illuminate your room for several hours. This feature might not seem like a lot, but it is indeed one for rainy days. It might not seem an important point while thinking about how to change a bulb in a high ceiling, but if you choose the right bulb, it will save you the hassle of repeating these steps frequently.

Step 8: Clean Up The Old Mess

Even if you don’t have a broken bulb and you have taken all the cautions in the world, there are still possibilities where you can just drop and break the old bulb. Such fluorescent lights contain a dangerous amount of mercury that can contaminate your sweet home. Follow our steps from this section of how to change bulbs in a high ceiling to handle this issue with caution.

Take a piece of cloth and put it on the floor directly beneath the bulb to get hold of broken pieces immediately. Whether the cloth collected the broken bulb or not, handle it with care. Put the broken bulb and pieces in a trash bucket separate from your regular garbage, and do not forget to label it as a “broken bulb.” Such trash needs to be dealt with differently, and you should also inform the garbage disposal authority when they come to collect trash from your home.

		How To Change A Bulb In A High Ceiling: 11 Easy Steps
image credit:canva

Step 9: Have Backup Bulbs Around

There is a good chance that your bulb will break, or you will notice it’s not working after the sun has gone for the day. It is quite natural since you did not need the bulb during the day. It might be difficult to find stores at night and more annoying to sit in the dark. To avoid such situations, we suggest keeping light bulbs as a backup.

When you go to regular grocery shopping or even to electric stores for another purpose, make sure you check if you have backup bulbs at home and, if not, buy in bulk. Chances are, you might get a discount, and you won’t have to sit and contemplate your life choices in the dark and keep wondering how to change a bulb in a high ceiling in the dark.

Step 10: Check The Wattage

Just like cars have the horsepower to denote how much energy they can produce, bulbs also have a notation for power consumption, and it is called “watt.” As a homeowner or a tenant, or a resident, you should be familiar with the electrical wiring of your home.

For instance, some sockets only allow 60-watt bulbs, and if you connect a 120-watt bulb there, you might be at risk of a fire hazard at any moment. Check the wattage of the bulb from its package and match it with the socket’s electric power capacity before connecting it.

Step 11: Treat Old Bulbs with Caution

Now that you have replaced the rusty or broken bulb, what should you do with them? This is just as important as the process of how to change a bulb in a high ceiling. You cannot just throw it away in your trash can since that would be pretty irresponsible. We have curated a few tips for you to safely dispose of bulbs regardless of your location.

In the case of standard bulbs, in other words, incandescent ones, they are not for recycling at all. Make sure you cover them with paper or disposable clothes while placing them with the regular trash. Halogen bulbs are also not recyclable for their wire filaments. For such bulbs, use bubble wrap or newspaper to cover them and place carefully with other household trash.

The most popular lights in the market are LED bulbs, and the good news is they are both energy-efficient and recyclable. Some areas provide a separate bin for recyclable trash, and you can put the old LED bulb there. If that option is unavailable, you can reach the local garbage management authority for appropriate guidance.

If you are using fluorescent bulbs, do not throw them in regular trash under any circumstance. As we have mentioned before, they contain mercury, and you will end up polluting the whole area if you are not careful. Reach out to the local authority about the safe disposal of old fluorescent bulbs and follow their guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Best Way to Change a Bulb in A High Ceiling?

Place a disposable cloth beneath the light. Then place the step-up ladder in the appropriate position, and wear gloves. If you cannot reach the bulb with the ladder, use an extension pole. Carefully take off the bulb, and place the new one. Make sure you take care of the dead bulb responsibly.

Is There Any Special Tool that I Need to Use for This Task?

Typical household tools are enough for this task; however, using an extension pole with an adjustable grabber will make the process way easier.

Which Type of Light Bulbs Should I Buy and What Are Their Advantages and Disadvantages?

You should always buy bulbs that are energy-efficient, for example, LED bulbs. We suggest buying state-of-the-art LED bulbs that last around ten years. Such bulbs consume less energy and have a long lifetime, but they might not be as aesthetic as halogen or fluorescent bulbs.

Can You Tell Me how Much Effort It Takes to Change a Bulb in A High Ceiling?

If you follow our guide on how to change a bulb in a high ceiling and don’t miss any steps, changing a bulb in a high ceiling is a piece of cake. It will not take any significant effort to replace your bulb in no time.


Congratulations! If you have gone through our steps for how to change a bulb in a high ceiling and collected the tools, you are at most five minutes away from illuminating your room with a brand-new light.

As we have separated the entire process into a few easy pieces and showed you how to easily and safely replace a bulb on a high ceiling from getting the ladder, wearing gloves, using the bulb grabber to responsibly treat the old bulb, and making sure you have a backup inventory of bulbs of proper choice, we are confident that you won’t face any issues doing it by yourself!

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