How to Change a Light Bulb in a High Ceiling

Changing a light bulb can be a daunting task if you have a high ceiling. Here are step-by-step instructions for how to change a light bulb in a high ceiling.


First, use a ladder or stool to reach the light bulb. If you don’t have either, you can try standing on a chair or using a broom handle or other long object to push the light bulb up.

Be careful not to touch the hot glass of the light bulb! Twist it clockwise once the new light bulb is in place to secure it. Finally, carefully step down from the ladder or stool and test your work. Read on for more information!

How to Change a Light Bulb in a High Ceiling: 10 Easy Solutions

1. Use a Ladder

Just set a little step stool beneath the light fixture and climb up. Be careful when changing the bulb, so it doesn’t fall out of your hands and onto your head.

2. Climb the Existing Ceiling Fan

Most ceiling fans have a hook in their center to hang down and support pendant lights or other hanging fixtures. Turn off power to the fan before attempting this, then use the hook as a step ladder.

3. Build an Access Platform

An access platform is just a plywood platform with a removable cover in the center. The cover is removed to provide access, then replaced when the bulb has been changed. There are several ways to build an access platform.


4. Get a Knee-Pillow

A knee pillow is just what it sounds like, a little pillow that you kneel on to change the ceiling light fixture.

This method keeps you much closer to the ground than climbing the ladder or hanging from the fan, but your arms are much less free to work the bulb if your knees carry most of your body weight.

5. Use a Pole with a Rope

Use a pole with a rope to climb the fixture from below, then pull yourself up into it. This method is dangerous but can get you into places that other methods cannot. Don’t do this without someone standing by to catch you if you slip.

6. Lean Against the Wall

Use a stepladder to lean your body against the wall. Next, climb the ladder, lean over, and change the bulb.

When finished, climb back down and return the stepladder to its original position. You can also use a “hook-on” type of stepladder that attaches to anything with screws or nails for this method.

7. Use a Fork

Use an extendable paint-roller handle and attach a fork to its end with some twine.

The advantage of this method is that you can choose how far out from the wall you want your arm extended, allowing greater freedom of movement compared to the stepladder and extending less of your body weight.

8. Use a Trestle Ladder

A trestle ladder allows you to extend the height of your reach when changing light bulbs, reaching much higher than a stepladder does.


It also gives you more freedom in how far over your arm extends when changing the bulb since it’s not attached to the wall.

9. Cut a Hole in the Ceiling

The easiest way to change a light bulb in a high ceiling is to cut a hole in its center and reach up from below.

However, this method can be dangerous as any objects stored within the ceiling space or damage done to insulation could have serious or fatal consequences.

10. Climb Up Someone’s Shoulders

If changing the light bulb is beyond your reach, climb up someone’s shoulders. This method is better than cutting a hole in the ceiling but more dangerous than climbing up on an access platform or stepladder.

It depends entirely on whether you trust the person to support your weight with their own body and keep hold of you while changing the bulb.

Step by Step Guide: How to Change a Light Bulb in a High Ceiling

Step 1: Determine the Lightbulb Size

Look at the lightbulb in your lamp or fixture to check the size. If you are looking for a replacement, there should be a number typically located on the bulb. This number is needed to make sure that your new lightbulb will fit.


Step 2: Locate the Fixture’s Switch

Typically, if you can flip or rotate something, then this means that it contains a switch. So, first, find the switch, which will allow you to turn on and off your lamp or fixture.

Step 3: Turn Off the Electricity

Take a look at the lightbulb in your lamp or fixture. If it’s unplugged, then the electricity has already been turned off.

However, if it is plugged in, you must turn off the circuit breaker. If you are unsure, call an electrician or your local power company.

Step 4: Remove Existing Light Bulb

Find your lightbulb and grasp the plastic base that holds it in place. Turn this clockwise to remove the lightbulb from its socket. You may need to use a little bit of extra force.

Step 5: Insert the New Bulb

Insert your new lightbulb into the socket by locating the plastic base and turning it counterclockwise.


If you have difficulty, check to see if the bulb has been inserted correctly. The metal pins should line up with the holes or grooves on either socket side.

Step 6: Test the Bulb

Once you have turned on your circuit breaker and flipped the switch, test out your new bulb. Once it is on, feel free to flip off the breaker and turn off the light switch. The bulb should now be functioning correctly!

Step 7: Dispose of Old Bulbs Properly

Bulbs contain a small amount of mercury and should never be placed into your regular garbage. However, some companies recycle lightbulbs, so feel free to call one of these companies if you have any questions about the disposal process.

Step 8: Put Everything Back in Place

Now that your lightbulb has been changed, everything should be back and ready to go! Your circuit breaker should also be on again, so you should be able to turn on your lamp or fixture once more safely.

Step 9: Clean up the Area

Once everything has been put back in its proper place, you can clean up any messes made during this process.


This includes vacuuming or sweeping up any broken glass that may have fallen onto the floor and cleaning up any of the dust or debris that might be left on your newly clean floor.

Step 10: Enjoy Your Updated Lighting!

Your lightbulb has now been successfully changed, and you’ve even managed to avoid having to get on your hands and knees to do it. Pat yourself on the back for a well-done job and enjoy your new and improved lighting.

Some Helpful Tips & Tricks:

1. Use a stepladder instead of a chair. You can control the light much better, and it is more secure.

2. If you are afraid of heights, don’t attempt this on your own. Get some help from a friend or family member!

3. It can be challenging to get the bulb out of its socket. A helpful tip is to use masking tape to grab the bulb and then twist it out.  

4. If you are not afraid of heights, turn the chair/step ladder away from the socket to reduce anxiety & tension.

5. Remember that your ceiling is probably higher than you think! Use a stepladder that is tall enough for the height of your ceiling.

6. Pull down on the light fixture gently before yanking it out of the socket. Ensure you do not knock anything off your ceiling or damage any wiring when removing the old bulb.

7. When putting in a new bulb, push upward and turn so that the cord is at a 90-degree angle to the ceiling. If you don’t, it’s a fire hazard.

Things to Consider When Changing Light Bulbs in High Ceilings

1. Lights that need to be changed or re-positioned come in all shapes and sizes, so make sure to have the proper one on hand.

2. Regardless of what type of bulb you choose, wear appropriate gear such as gloves and safety goggles (in case the old one breaks).


3. Ladders will be needed to reach all light bulbs on your high ceiling. Check that it is steady and firm on the ground before climbing up. Make sure that the ladder will not slide out from under you once you are up.

4. Plan for your actions ahead of time so that everything goes accordingly (i.e., no one gets hurt or something broken).

5. Do not rush while replacing light bulbs in high ceilings; be sure to work diligently and carefully.

6. If you complete the light bulb replacement job successfully, clean up afterward, take off your safety gear, and put away your ladders.

7. If you are not comfortable changing the light bulb yourself, ask for help or get a professional to do it. It would help if you never attempted something that makes you nervous or uncomfortable.

How Do You Change a Lightbulb You Can’t Reach?

There may be difficulty if you do not have an easy method of changing a light bulb in a high ceiling.

However, there are several ways to change light bulbs in ceilings if no other option is available or if you are just really nervous about climbing a ladder.

1. Have Someone Help From the Floor: Have someone stand or sit on the ground beneath you while attempting to change the light bulb so that they can catch you if you fall. Use your foot to step on their hand for better grip to have them pull you up when it’s time to get down.


2. Use a Rope: One way to change a light bulb is by first tying the rope around the light fixture and then tying a knot on a high beam or tree branch that can support your weight.

Have someone hold one end of this rope from where you are trying to attach it while climbing the other end. Attach the rope securely to your belt loop if you are using it to pull yourself up or lower yourself into position, then remove it from around the fixture.

3. Use a Ladder on an Angle: If you have an A-frame ladder at home that can be adjusted to fit on a slanted ceiling, this will make changing the light bulb easier. Different ladders are available, so see if any fits your home’s current needs.

4. Use a Stool: A stool can be used instead of a ladder for high ceilings that you do not wish to climb on top of. If the ceiling is too high or you cannot find anything sturdy enough to hold your weight for this method, you may want to try another option.

5. Use a Pole: A long pole can reach the ceiling and change the light bulb from there if there is no other option that is high enough or sturdy enough to hold your weight. You’ll need a clamp that attaches it to the ceiling fixture and a partner to help you get it in place.

Safety Measures and Warnings

1. Only change a light bulb when it is off or if you are experienced in removing hot bulbs.

2. This method is only for use on standard household lighting sockets and not on recessed lighting; be sure to consult the manual of your fixture before attempting this.

3. Do not attempt to use this method on lights without a chain or cord.

4. If the bulb is stuck, do not force it; you can unscrew it by hand.

5. Never hold a light bulb once removed from its fixture; these get very hot and could burn you or drop out of your hands before it is safe to hold.

6. If the bulb is still stuck within its fixture, do not use a rubber band as this may cause an electrical fire.

Is There a Tool to Change Light Bulbs in High Ceilings?

Though most people can change a light bulb in their home without any danger, it can be dangerous to attempt if there is no ladder or stool.


Even ladders that would usually not be an issue may become one when there is no railing around the edge of the ceiling or floor that it’s leaning on.

The added height of the ceiling can also make it difficult to maneuver and aim the ladder so that the person can retrieve and replace the bulb.

Some tools can help to remove and replace these lights, such as a long pole with a clamp at the end. This allows the person to reach the ceiling and attach it safely before removing or replacing the light fixture. It is similar to how people use crank lighting for lights in difficult places to reach.


As you can see, changing a light bulb on a high ceiling is not too difficult. The key to success with this task is preparation and knowing how to use the right tools properly.

If you are faced with an impending need for this project, don’t hesitate! Just get out your ladder, measure twice before cutting once, buy some new bulbs while at the store, and enjoy your newly lit room.

There you have it, a quick and easy guide on how to change a light bulb in a high ceiling. We hope this article has been helpful to you, and we can help with any other questions or concerns that arise! If not, reach out to us anytime for more information.

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