How do I change light bulbs that are 20 feet off the ground and pointing up (in a vanity fixture)? Does anyone know of a bulb changing kit that has some kind of arm attachment that will allow me to reach down inside and unscrew the bulb?

  • 6
    it's called a ladder Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 19:34
  • I think you found why LED bulbs are popular :) Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 23:18

2 Answers 2


If you don't want to get an 20' extension ladder (which can be very difficult to transport home from the store), then you can get one of the Little Giant or Werner multi-ladders:


Or you can get the werner folding ladder:

Folding ladder

But, a good ladder will pay off in more ways than just this - cleaning gutters, etc.


If you are unable to access them yourself, using a ladder or lift for instance, you can hire an electrician or lighting service to change them for you. They will bring the necessary equipment to your home and perform the lightbulb maintenance. Some have annual maintenance plans which will take care of one or more fixtures for a nominal fee.

If you'd rather spend more now to make the job easier for you in the future, you can have an electrician install a lowerable lighting fixture for you. A hand operated, or motorized, cable will lower the light so you can perform bulb maintenance at a more convenient height for you, and then will raise the light to the operating position for use. These are not inexpensive, but there are situations where using a ladder is unsafe, or bringing in such a large ladder would pose risk to the walls or other objects in the affected room.

Consider in investing in long life bulbs so you won't have to perform the maintenance often. Some LED bulbs will perform well for many years of continuous use. Another option is to install brighter incandescent bulbs than you need, then use a dimmer to bring them down to the light level you require, which will extend the life of some of these bulbs. Soft start circuits can also extend the life of incandescent bulbs, as can professional dimmers. While there are LED bulbs which promise 100,000 hour lifetimes, be skeptical of these claims - they may operate that long if they are never turned off, and in good laboratory environmental conditions, but keep in mind that these estimates are theoretical - the bulbs have only been around for a few years, none have been tested for 20+ years.

  • The dimmer suggestion is a good one. We have a soft start / soft stop dimmer in our bedroom, and its 4-bulb fixture is going on 3 years now on the same set of GE Reveals. It gets used at least 2x a day. Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 19:49

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