Changing a Broken Light Bulb - Is It Really Hard?

Lighting Basics

Changing a normal light bulb is normally a very easy task, however, it can becomes rather tough to change a light bulb that is broken. Broken light bulbs can be very hazardous to your health, especially if it is a fluorescent type, since these lights contain trace amounts of mercury.

In order to change a broken light bulb, the first thing you need to do is to turn off the power going to it. Depending on where the light bulb is placed, you can either simply unplug the lamp it is on, or turn off the electrical panel if the light bulb is on your ceiling. In addition, always turn off the light switch just to make sure that power is indeed cut off to the bulb. If you want to be extra safe, cut off entire electrical network.

The next thing you have to do before anything else is to protect yourself, particularly if the broken light bulb is a CFL. Put on a pair of safety goggles as well as safety gloves to protect your hands from any electrical accidents or cuts from the shards of glass. If possible, also put on a tarp like cloth to catch any broken shards that fall off from the bulb if your bulb is on the ceiling.

You’ll want to use a pair of pliers as it is the best tool you can use to handle the situation. All you have to do once you get your hands on one, is to simply grab the broken light bulb's base and try rotating it counter-clockwise until you can make budge. If you have trouble fully grasping the base of the bulb, you might want to try to bend the base slightly inward so you can get a better grip.

If you meet any resistance when trying to rotate the base, consider wiggling it here and there until you can get it loose. If the bulb does not budge, you may have to replace the fixture itself it's a common scenario with bulbs that have exploded, something which can melt the fixture and base together.

Once the light bulb is removed, always vacuum or sweep any shards that may have fallen from the bulb to ensure that no one is injured. You are now free to replace the bulb and turn the power back on. In addition, don't forget to recycle what you can from the old bulb.

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