My front porch light fixture is an open bottom fixture hanging on a decorative chain. So there is access to the bulb. But to use a "light bulb changer on a pole" or a DIY plastic bottle on a broomstick - either will easily grab the bottom of the bulb but when turning, it turns the entire chain and fixture. Remedy - install new fixture with easier access? I am a senior lady living alone and cannot get up on a ladder high enough to use both hands to hold the fixture still with one hand and change the bulb with the other. Just moved here and don't know any neighbors. Just can't think of any way to steady the fixture so I can turn the bulb without a tall ladder. Ideas? Thanks in advance.

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    Time to make new friends. Cookies help.
    – crip659
    Commented Jun 30, 2022 at 21:13
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    Check with the local stores. They usually have boards with local handy men listed. Asking for a little help is always a great way to meet neighbors... "Can I borrow some sugar?" worked for me many times.
    – JACK
    Commented Jun 30, 2022 at 21:36
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    However you resolve this, whether using a gadget, friends with a ladder or a paid handyman, get the best possible bulb you can. Which would be an LED from a major manufacturer (Cree, Philips, etc.), DLC certified, with a really long warranty. DLC requires a minimum 5 year warranty, but some have even longer. A long warranty is not a guarantee of performance, but it is a good indicator. Not necessarily worth spending an extra $ 5 on every bulb in the house. But for the really hard to change bulbs, it pays in not having to replace as frequently. Commented Jun 30, 2022 at 21:37

2 Answers 2


knowitall has the right idea - you need a short and sharp jolt.

The weight of the bulb is very light. The weight of the fixture is a great deal more. If you turn gently, the bulb and fixture will turn together. If you turn very sharply, the bulb itself will turn before the rest of the fixture. That will turn too, but for an instant, the bulb will turn first. The trick is not to let the slack run out and cause a "snap" in the other direction! Several snaps like that should get it loose.

  • thank you, and you still gave me the negative vote
    – Traveler
    Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 5:04
  • @knowitall I did not. I do not DV lightly. Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 5:55
  • it might help to first spin it slowly clockwise a few turns before quickly reversing direction. This uses the angular momentum of the lamp to help unscrew the bulb.
    – dandavis
    Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 19:34

Assemble another rod/stick of sufficient length to reach an open lower link. Apply to the end of the rod a horizontal pin to pass through the link. While holding this stick in place, turning the bulb changing tool will wrap the chain only slightly, allowing the tool to perform the task.

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    and you want a old lady to do this surgery ?
    – Traveler
    Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 0:44
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    This is a really bad idea. Asking an elderly woman to put a long stick over 14' into a chain above her. and then to use another long tool to grab the bulb? I've used those myself and I'm a capable 60yo, they are not easy to use. Best bet is to hire a local handy man and like manassehkatz... said get a high quality bulb. To the OP, please don't try this on your own. To Fred, DV for a dangerous answer. Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 1:30
  • Apparently this "elderly woman" was able to extend the bulb remover to a height sufficient to discover that the chain would twist while attempting to remove the bulb. Your comment is not productive.
    – fred_dot_u
    Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 8:45
  • @fred_dot_u I disagree. I think recommending that a senior citizen who self describes unable to climb a ladder enough to reach the fixture, that she not try it, not put per personal safety at risk and get a handyman is good advice. I think it's a very productive comment. Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 16:43
  • Another aspect of my question is one that it is helpful to a neighbor who might want to assist. No special tools beyond the bulb remover and a long stick.
    – fred_dot_u
    Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 20:27

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