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How to Make Changing Light Bulbs Suck Less

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Ashley
02.26.13

Changing the burnt-out bulb on your reading lamp may not be a huge burden, but how do you feel when the light that’s suspended from your 25-foot vaulted ceiling bites the dust? Or how about a porch light that’s inside a glass case you can never seem to get off? If you’re like most of us, you’re probably going to be a little annoyed.

Etsy: BootsNGus | Etsy

Like any home project, the key to bulb-changing success is preparation and proper equipment. Here are five ways to make changing light bulbs suck less:

Buy longer lasting bulbs. Think of this as a savvy form of procrastination. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LED bulbs can last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. They also burn out slowly instead of just popping, so you’ll have a warning before you’re in total darkness! Note: Longer lasting bulbs are more expensive, but you’ll save money (and avoid hassle) in the long run when you don’t have to replace them as often.

Use a light bulb kit with an extendable pole. If you have high ceilings, this kit can save you a lot of heartache (and a trip up a ladder). The pole extends towards the ceiling with a suction cup to grab or stick the bulb in place.

Change out broken bulbs using a potato. A little too much enthusiasm during playtime can result in a light bulb casualty. The next time a bulb breaks, unplug the lamp and be sure the remaining glass on the bulb is less than one inch high. Press a halved potato (or another fruit/vegetable with the same texture) around the broken bulb and unscrew counter-clockwise until the bulb comes out. Safety note: Be sure to clean up any remaining potato juice from the lamp before plugging it back in!

Use a drop cloth for quick cleanup. Whether you’re changing out a fluorescent bulb (which contains dangerous chemicals) or a simple incandescent bulb, we suggest using a drop cloth to catch falling pieces. Plus, if the bulb slips out of your hands, the cloth will catch any debris – including tiny shards of glass – from the bulb, saving your bare feet from an ill fate.

Buy replacement bulbs in bulk. Light bulbs are like stamps – you probably don’t think about them until you really need one. Save yourself the headache of taking a trip to the store for a solo bulb by purchasing light bulbs in bulk. Not only will you always have enough spares around the home, you’ll probably pay less per bulb! Tip: Keep a variety of wattage levels handy because different lights will require different bulbs. Make a note of what the fixtures in your house use, and stock up on those.

Don't have enough lightbulbs to change already? Check out these cool lighting fixtures for some inspiration:

Photo: urbanchandy | Etsy

Photo: lightexture | Etsy

Photo: IndLights | Etsy

Photo: TheBoominGranny | Etsy

Photo: pablowood | Etsy

Photo: lightexture | Etsy

Photo: 11amArchitects | Etsy

Photo: DazzleMePink | Etsy

Photo: Flowersinlight | Etsy

Photo: LukeLampCo | Etsy

Photo: lightexture | Etsy

Photo: urbanchandy | Etsy

Photo: DazzleMePink | Etsy

Photo: treasureagain | Etsy

Photo: lightexture | Etsy

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