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How to change a light bulb

Created: 13/03/2014

How many people does it take to change a light bulb? Seriously. According to a 2007 survey, 25% of people under 35 years old didn’t know how to change a light bulb. While it may seem simple, there are a number of health risks involved in this apparently straightforward act of maintenance.

To be sure of not getting your fingers burnt and before calling out local electricians in Dulwich or your neighbouring area, follow these essential hints and tips for changing a light bulb the right way.

Firstly, be sure to turn the light switch off; for extra reassurance, you can also turn the red power button off at the fuse box to guarantee there is no power going to the socket. Then it is a case of letting the bulb cool. All too often, people go to remove the bulb from the socket while it is still hot from the power and, while this is less common with LED bulbs as they run far cooler than incandescent bulbs and CFLs, it is still important to make sure the bulb and socket are completely cool before even thinking of removing the bulb.

Then make sure to use a stepladder to reach the socket. One of the most common injuries caused by changing a light bulb is from falling in the attempt, so make sure the ladder is sturdy and safe. The removal of the bulb from the socket will depend on the type of bulb: if it is a bayonet mount (with two prongs) you must push upwards and then gently turn the bulb anticlockwise, but in the case of a screw fitting, simply turn the bulb anticlockwise until it is released.

When fitting the new bulb, ensure you have chosen the correct wattage and then turn it clockwise until secure. When it is safe to do, so you can restore the power and the new bulb should switch on without a hitch. Should problems persist, always call a local handyman referral service.

When disposing of the old bulb make sure it is contained - either use the packaging of the new bulb or an old plastic container so the glass doesn’t break in the bin.


Image Credit: kevygee (

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