How to Change Bulbs in Swivel Ceiling Lights

Updated February 21, 2017

A swivel light or lamp is one that rotates or pivots around a central fixed position. Many lighting products use swivel lights, including those used on ceilings so you can change the direction of the light to suit your home lighting needs. Swivel lights usually use a standard light bulb, and the challenging part of changing them is not the bulb, but rather the location of the light in high and hard to reach areas of the ceiling.

Set up a stepladder or regular ladder under the light bulb that you want to change. Try to set the ladder up just away from the light so that you are not directly under the light. This will help you maintain your balance and see what you are doing. For your safety, ask an assistant to hold the ladder for you.

Raise a pole-mounted bulb changer up to the swivel light. If the light is pivoted at an angel or at a horizontal level, use the pole to push or drag the light so that the bulb is facing directly down. You can purchase a pole-mounted bulb changer at most hardware or lighting stores.

Attach the suction cup or steel fingers of the bulb changer directly onto the light bulb. Slowly rotate the pole to the left and unscrew the light bulb. If the light bulb is a type that does not screw, then gently tug the pole downward until the light bulb pops out of its fixture. Make sure to maintain your balance, especially if you are standing on a ladder, and hold the pole steady when you lower the bulb out of the light fixture.

Place a new bulb into the suction cup or steel fingers of the bulb changer and raise the pole to the lamp. Slowly rotate the pole to the right and screw the light bulb into the fixture. Again, if the light bulb is not the type you screw, then simply push upward until the bulb clicks into the fixture.

Push the swivel lamp back into the position that you had it in originally, or into whatever position that best suits your lighting needs.

Things You'll Need

  • Ladder
  • Pole-mounted bulb changer
  • Replacement light bulb
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About the Author

Jessica Jewell is a writer, photographer and communications consultant who began writing professionally in 2005. Her chapbook, "Slap Leather," is forthcoming from dancing girl press. Her recent work has appeared in "Nimrod," "Harpur Palate," "Copper Nickel," "Rhino," "wicked alice," "Poetry Midwest" and "Barn Owl Review." Jewell was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She earned her Master of Fine Arts from Kent State University.