How to Install Light Bulbs


There are many jokes about installing light bulbs, but the truth is that with all the new types of light fixtures that are available today, combined with the many different types of light bulbs that can be found, putting a light bulb in for the first time can actually be a bit complicated.

Follow these simple steps to make sure that every light bulb in your home is safely installed in no time at all.

Know your light fixture

Light fixtures come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important to know what the base of the fixture you’ll be working with looks like. For instance, many lights have standard sized fittings for the lights which you will be using and this will make installing lights easy, but some light fixtures have smaller or special fittings which you will need to be aware of before you choose bulbs.

By making sure that you know what size fittings your light fixtures have, you will be able to comfortably purchase light bulbs to fit the fixtures. Many times, if the bulbs are a special size, the size of the bulb base will be listed on the packaging of the light fixture, or it the fixture requires special bulbs, it may be listed on the base of the light fixture itself. If the size of the bulb isn’t listed don’t worry, often it can be easy to “eyeball” a fitting or light bulb base and choose the correct one. If you’re not sure, you can always take an old bulb along with you so you know you get the right light bulbs the first time around.

It’s also important to make sure that the guidelines for voltage and wattage of the lightbulb is followed. Often, when people don’t follow the voltage guidelines listed on the fixture, they find that their lightbulbs burn out quickly or, worst case scenario, start a fire. Remember that wattage guidelines are put on the light fixture for a reason, so following the listing is essential.

Choose your light bulbs

Installing light bulbs also has quite a lot to do with the type of bulb being chosen, so this step shouldn’t be ignored. Consider first the type of bulbs that are preferred. Many consumers are pleased to find that there are many different types of energy efficient bulbs, which can add up to big savings over the life of the bulb. As an added bonus, these bulbs can also come in decorative shapes and sizes now, which last for years.

When shopping for lights, it is important to know not only the size of the fitting in the light fixture being used, but also the recommended wattage of the light fixture needs to be considered. Once the right base size of the bulbs have been chosen, choosing light bulbs should be relatively easy. Remember that the more decorative or energy efficient the bulb, the more expensive it will be.

Turn off the light when installing light bulbs

While this may sound slightly ridiculous to many people, it might be surprising to find how many people do not turn off their lights before installing a light bulb. This can lead to problems such as burned out lights and in some cases people even suffer from being shocked, so make sure that the light is turned off when screwing in a lightbulb for your safety and the life of the bulb.

Clean the light fixture before installing light bulbs

Light fixtures get dirty. Dust and all sorts of debris can build up around light fixtures that we may not notice. When changing a light bulb, it’s the perfect time to clean the fixture to ensure that there are no obstructions when installing the lights and make sure that fire hazards such as a build up of dust are removed.

When dusting around the fitting, just use a dry cloth. Make sure that the cloth being used doesn’t leave pieces of lint or threads behind. Don’t clean inside the fitting unless you have turned the light off at the breaker to ensure that all electricity to the fixture has been cut off.

Once the cleaning is done, the light can be safely installed and the light fixture will look clean and bright for several weeks.

Screw the bulb in securely

Another problem that many people have when they are installing light bulbs is that they don’t screw the bulb in all the way or they fail to make sure that it goes in straight, which could cause a person to think that the bulb or light no longer works. Bulb bases have threading which corresponds with the threading of the fitting in the light fixture. Much like a screw and bolt, these should fit together snugly to ensure a good connection and a secure fit of the bulb.

When a light bulb is not properly screwed into a light fixture, it can feel difficult to turn. This is most often because the threading was not properly lined up. In this case, do not force the light bulb to turn further. Instead, unscrew it and start over. Some bulbs, may seem to offer resistance when being installed. In this case, if the bulb doesn’t feel stuck or like it won’t turn at all, just take it slowly and watch for any obstructions.

Once the light fixture has been cleaned and the bulbs have been properly installed, it is safe to turn on the light.