Safely changing a light bulb

How To Change A Light Bulb – DIY Guide

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

For some people changing a light bulb isn’t that hard but for others, it can be somewhat challenging. This is a DIY guide on how to change a light bulb safely. Covering different bases, wattages, and safety guidelines.

There are different light bulb bases (ie the GU’s, the MR’s, the screw fitting, and the bayonet mount), different wattages, and even different colours. All this can add to the confusion and complexity of changing a light bulb.

For this post, we are just looking at the screw fitting and the bayonet mount style light bulb.

First Some Safety Tips

  • Turn off the power to the lights, before changing the bulb. You can do this at the light switch but for extra safety, we recommend turning off the lights at the switchboard.

  • These lights can break very easily and if the light was just in use before blowing. They can also be very hot. We recommend using wearing gloves. Never use your bare hands or fingers.

  • Check that the wattage on the old light bulb is the same wattage as the new light bulb (this information should be on the bulbs). Also make sure that you are replacing the same light base with the same light base (so a screw fitting is replacing a screw fitting, a bayonet mount replacing a bayonet mount).

  • If you need a stool/ladder to reach the light bulb you are replacing. Make sure you’re on a secure surface.

  • Wrap up the dead bulb in paper towels, an old tea towel, or in a bag before throwing it away.

STEP 1:- Turn off the power

Turn off the power to your lights at the switchboard. Make sure the light switch is in the off position before attempting to change the lightbulb. If you don’t, you may be in for a nasty shock.

Turning off the power to the lights at the switchboard

Turn off the power to the lights at the switchboard

STEP 2:- Grab a stool, ladder, or a secure chair

If the light bulb is on the ceiling, don’t stand on your tiptoes while you struggle with the fixture. You may end up breaking the bulb, cutting your hand, damaging the light fixture, or worse falling off and damaging yourself.

Get into a comfortable position on a secure surface before trying to remove the bulb from the socket.

Different light bulb bases. Screw Fitting: to remove a screw fitting bulb, twist it anticlockwise until it comes free. If the bulb has been in place for a long time, the screw portion could have rusted. When this happens, the bulb section can come off. Use a pair of needle-nose pliers to remove the base of the bulb from the socket carefully. Never use your fingers! Bayonet Mount: Push the bulb upwards, then turn it anticlockwise until it comes free.

STEP 3:- Gloves on and remove the dead bulb

As stated earlier there are a few different types of bulbs you’ll come across. Which one you have will dictate how to remove and replace the bulb from and into the socket correctly. For this post, we are going to look at the two most common types of light bulbs found in homes. The screw fitting and the bayonet mount.

Please remember to wear your gloves. Bulbs can still be hot and they can very easily break in your hand.

Safely changing a light bulb with gloves on.

Always wear gloves when changing a light bulb

STEP 4:- Replacing the bulb

Now that you have removed the dead bulb, it’s time to put the new bulb in.

Take the fresh bulb from the packaging and gently twist it into place. Be careful not to push or turn too hard, as you might break the new bulb.

IMPORTANT TO NOTE:- make sure it’s like for like. So the old bulb has the same wattage and it’s the same bulb type fitting as the new bulb.

STEP 5:- Power on, Lights on

Turn the power back on at the switchboard and then turn the light on at the light switch. If you completed the previous steps correctly and have a working light bulb, you should have your light source back.

STEP 6:- Bin the dead bulb

Light bulbs are fragile and break easily. Instead of throwing it directly into the bin, wrap it up in paper towel, an old tea towel or a bag. This will protect whoever takes the rubbish out later.

And that is, a simple DIY how to change a light bulb


If you are still unsure or not feeling confident about changing a light bulb. Feel free to call the Electrical Embassy team and one of our master electricians will be happy to walk you through the process.

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