Fusion Electric Blog

Safety Tips for Changing a Lightbulb

Changing a lightbulb seems like a pretty simple and straightforward task, right? While this process usually doesn’t come with any inherent dangers, if you aren’t careful, all this may change.

Failure to take the proper precautions may result in an electric shock or burn if the bulb is still hot when you touch it. If you have to climb up to reach the bulb, you may suffer more serious injuries if you were to fall.

Some general rules you should follow when you are changing a lightbulb can be found here.

Turn the Main Source of Power Off

It’s a good idea to switch off the home’s main circuit breaker. While this may seem a bit much, it will ensure there is no power coming to the fixture. Just turning the light switch off does not offer a guarantee that the light fixture you are changing the bulb in isn’t live.

Cases of poor workmanship or a wiring problem may mean that live power is still present.

In these cases, electricity may still be traveling through a neutral line. The only time you should avoid this step is if you have an electric meter to ensure there is no current flow going to the socket.

Give the Bulb Time to Cool Down

All light bulbs, especially the incandescent bulbs, will generate quite a bit of heat. This is why they aren’t as efficient as the more commonly used LEDs. If you touch the hot bulb, it’s going to hurt.

Use Safe Equipment to Reach the Bulb

If you are trying to change the bulb in a ceiling light or another high fixture, make sure to use a secure ladder. Do not try to reach a fixture that is too high. Remember, couches, tables, and chairs are not designed to support your weight.

Be Careful When Taking the Old Bulb Out

The bulb being remoted should screw out easily. If it is stuck or if it requires too much pressure to take it out, use a thicker glove to grip it. If you use too much pressure, it may result in the glass breaking in your hand and cutting you.

Install the Right Replacement Bulb

Before you insert a new light bulb, check the fixture’s power rating. If you install a bulb that exceeds the rating, it can create a fire hazard because the additional power may heat up too much, causing the wires in the wall or fixture to melt. You can avoid this risk if you install a bulb that has a power rating less or equal to the fixture.

Once the bulb is in the socket, turn the main breaker and light switch on. If it works, great. If the bulb doesn’t work, if it makes strange noises, or flickers it may be a dud, or there could be an issue with the fixture or a wiring problem. At this point, it may be a good idea to contact Fusion Electric to check out the problem.