How to Change a Flood Light

Written by warren rachele
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How to Change a Flood Light
When replacing a flood light, you want to consider a new CFL bulb. (Luce image by wally from

Flood lights are found all around our homes, often in challenging places to reach. Whether they are installed in recessed fixtures in the ceiling or high up above the garage or patio, the light bulbs usually require a step ladder to reach when they need replacement. Having a new bulb at the ready makes this a quick and easy task to accomplish. Replacement is a good time to consider the efficiency of your lighting and you may want to opt for a higher-efficiency and longer-life CFL or LED bulb.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Ladder
  • Replacement bulb

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  1. 1

    Turn off the power to the light fixture. If it is controlled by more than one switch, the safest approach is to turn off the circuit breaker that controls the light.

  2. 2

    Set up the step ladder so that you can reach the lamp. You must be able to stand securely on the ladder without leaning or bending over to reach the light. Doing so may cause you to lose your balance and be injured. Resist the temptation to use chairs, boxes, buckets or other items to support your weight during the operation as they too may fail unexpectedly.

  3. 3

    Remove any lamp cover or trim that limits your access to the bulb. Set it on the ground so that your hands are free.

  4. 4

    Unscrew the bulb by twisting it counterclockwise. If the bulb does not twist easily, stop turning it as the glass may separate from the metal threaded contact. Turn the bulb clockwise a little bit and then try again to turn it to the left. Turn slowly to prevent breakage.

  5. 5

    Insert the new bulb in the socket and turn it clockwise until tight.

  6. 6

    Replace any cover or trim that was removed. Turn the power on to the fixture to ensure that the new bulb works.

Tips and warnings

  • If the glass of the bulb separates from the threaded contact, you can use a potato to safely remove the contact from the socket. Cut the potato in half and push it down into the contact. When it is snugly inserted, turn the potato counterclockwise to remove the metal component. Wipe down the fixture before replacing the bulb.
  • If the bulb is installed in a ceiling fixture that is too high to reach, even with your tallest ladder, consider obtaining a bulb remover on an extension rod or one that fits on the end of your painting poles. The bulb remover grips the lamp and allows you to turn it from the safety of the floor.

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