I have a burnt out lightbulb that's in an open fixture about 15 feet (4.6 metre) high. How can I change it without a ladder or using one of those bulb changer extension arms? I tried the extension arm, but it wouldn't grip the bulb well.

  • Interesting question :) However, could you add what you tried? That will help us find a solution, just for you :)
    – Pobrecita
    Dec 28, 2014 at 6:37
  • I tried an extension arm but it wouldn't grip the bulb.
    – Ben
    Dec 28, 2014 at 6:44
  • 1
    How did you change it the last time it burned?
    – vladiz
    Dec 28, 2014 at 12:58
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    Once you do manage to change it, replace it with a high-quality LED bulb. You'll save electricity, and it'll be many years (possibly many decades) before you need to change it again. Dec 28, 2014 at 15:11
  • No extension arm, no ladder, then put something and climb on it or descend yourself from above on a rope or something similar
    – vladiz
    Dec 28, 2014 at 18:18

1 Answer 1


Make a dispensable gripper!

Wrap a piece of duct tape around the end of a long stick, in such a way that you get a kind of cup shape with a sticky inside. Get the idea?

Convince yourself that the tape won't get pulled from the stick after you have pushed the cup onto the bulb and started unscrewing it. If in doubt, wrap some extra tape around the lower part of the cup, to fix it firmly to the end of the stick.

Removing the old bulb will be easy. Mounting the new one is slightly more difficult. Use a smaller cup so the tape isn't wrapped around the bulb but only 'kisses' it.

Lubricate the metal part of the bulb with a drop of oil, WD40 will do, then wipe it completely off again with a piece of soft paper or cloth. We don't want a shortcircuit! Enough lubricant will be left to make a noticable difference.

I used this method several times, mostly for bulbs that were not unreachably high but unreachably deep inside an armature.

  • Nice idea! I like it....I should build one of these for my mother so she doesn't have to wait for me to come home to change the lightbulbs :P
    – Shokhet
    Dec 29, 2014 at 17:39

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