How To Change A Light Bulb In A Ceiling Fixture — 6 Steps To Follow

Changing a light bulb may not be so much of a big deal — at least, it is surely much easier than changing a light fitting. However, changing light bulbs in ceiling light fixtures can be a little tricky, depending on what type of fixture it is.

Well, in this article, we will be giving you easy steps you can follow to remove a light bulb in a normal ceiling light fixture and then how to quickly fix in a new one.

How To Change A Light Bulb In A Ceiling Fixture
Photo by Duangphorn Wiriya on Unsplash

Stuff You Might Need

As you probably have already guessed, you actually won’t be needing too many tools for this. But here are some things you probably cannot do without:

A step ladder: of course, you will be needing a ladder to elevate you to the ceiling where the light bulb is. Make sure the ladder has a firm grip against the floor and that it is strong and sturdy so that you don’t fall at any point when you are on it.

If you cannot get a ladder, a sturdy stool or bench will very much do. You won’t be up for so long, so, no need to go out of your way to get a ladder if you do not already have one.

A screwdriver: you might be needing to screw and unscrew a couple of screws in the ceiling light fixture where the light bulbs are. So, a screwdriver will be very much required. Well, check this one out if you do not already have one.

STANLEY 68-012M All-In-One 6-Way Screwdriver

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Duct tape: this truly might not be necessary with many light fixtures, but with a recessed fixture, for example, a duct tape might be pretty important to help you get a good enough grip while you take out the glass dome.

You may also need a duct tape if you find out that the light bulb is stuck in the socket.

So, now, to the question of the day…

How To Change A Bulb In A Ceiling Light Fixture

1. Switch The Light Off

The first thing to do is to turn off the switch which controls the ceiling light fixture you are about to work on.

Even if the glass bulb you are about to replace has stopped working, it is still very important that you turn the switch off and make sure it stays off till you are done, just general safety measure. 

Note: Here, you do not need to go all the way to the fuse box of your home to cut off the power being supplied to the room. Since you aren’t completely taking out the light fixture, and as such, won’t be exposed to live wires, that won’t be necessary. 

If you know how to change light fitting yourself, then you know when that will be necessary.

Well, if you don’t, and would like to know how to change a light fitting without help from anyone, then head over to this article now. It has all the relevant steps you need.

2. Leave Bulb To Cool

How To Change A Light Bulb In A Ceiling Fixture
Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

If the bulb you are just about to change was on before you came into the room, and has been on for some time, then it is important that you give it some time for to cool off after you put off the switch, before you even touch it.

Incandescent glass bulbs usually give off so much heat while they are on, and you surely do not want to get your hands burned by touching a really hot glass bulb.

So, wait for about 10 to 15 minutes, that should be enough time for it to cool off.

But well, if the bulb you are about to remove is an LED or a fluorescent one, then you will not have to wait that long.

You may not even have to wait at all, because while regular incandescent glass bulbs, on one hand, emit heat in order to glow, fluorescent ones, on the other, are designed to not give off so much heat while they produce light.

It also goes without saying that if you are replacing the glass bulb because it stopped functioning some time ago, then there is no need to wait at all, it is obviously already very cool.

3. Loosen The Screws Of A Dome Fixture

Now that the glass bulbs have been given time to cool, you can climb up the step ladder (or step stool) and turn your attention to the fixture whose bulb you want to change.

If yours is a fixture with a dome or perhaps a fixture in a ceiling fan, then your first step will be to unscrew the screws (or screw) at the sides or at the base of the fixture with your screwdriver; they should not be so hard to locate.

When that has been done, you can remove the glass dome or covering and will then be exposed to the light bulbs.

If your fixture does not have a dome or a covering of any kind, then you can just skip this and move straight on to the next step.

4. Remove Old Bulb

If you are not sure if you turned off the switch, this is the time to double check. Also, if you feel the bulb and it still isn’t cool enough for you to touch, give it a little more time.

If you touch a glass bulb it when it is hot, the heat may cause you to mishandle it and it could even break. That’s a disaster you surely do not want.

Anyway, if all the boxes have been checked, then go on to turn the bulb leftward with one hand holding the bulb socket in place. Do this while giving the bulb a gently pull simultaneously; your bulb should be out of its socket by now.

5. Get A New Bulb

How To Change A Light Bulb In A Ceiling Fixture
Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

Now that you have taken the old one out, get a new bulb to replace it with. You probably have that readied already, so it’s time to fix it.

Before you do, though, please, check to make sure that the new bulb matches the wattage of the old bulb you just took out. 

Also, if the bulb you just took out is a regular incandescent bulb (a bulb which needs to produce heat for it to glow), you might want to contemplate replacing it with an LED or a fluorescent bulb. These types give off a lot less heat than your regular incandescent bulb.

Now, to install this new bulb, you insert it at the mouth of your socket. Once it is in, gently turn it rightward until it stays and is tight enough. 

6. Replace The Dome

Now that the new bulb has been installed, go on and replace the glass dome or cover of the fixture using the screws (or nuts, as the case may be) to tighten them to fit.

Then you can turn the light switch back on and test your newly installed bulb.

If it does not produce light, then maybe you did screw things up somewhere (get it?) Lol. Not really. It is probably just the bulb. Try out the bulb in another fixture to be sure where the problem is.

If it is the bulb, of course, get a new one. Unscrew the dome and follow the steps from beginning again. It should be a lot easier this time around.

If it is with the fixture, then you would need to call an electrician to give it a look, obviously, it is more than just screws and a glass bulb.

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