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How to replace a security light bulb

Updated April 17, 2017

It's dark outside and you just realised your outdoor security light isn't working. Most security lights have mercury vapour bulbs. These bulbs cannot be handled with your bare hands. It is important that when you change the bulb, you use gloves to do so. If you do not use gloves, the oils from your hands can cause the bulb to blow when it is lit.

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  1. Purchase your light bulb at a hardware store or your local department store. Make sure you know the wattage of the bulb when you go in to purchase it.

  2. Place the ladder underneath the outdoor security light. Put on your gloves for protection. Climb the ladder and with your gloved hand, remove the old bulb by turning it counter-clockwise.

  3. Remove the new bulb from the packaging (some comes in bubble wrap) with your gloved hands. Climb the ladder and screw the bulb into the receptacle by turning the bulb clockwise. If you did not touch the bulb with your bare hands, when darkness falls, the light will come on.

  4. Dispose of the old bulb by wrapping it in the packaging the new bulb came in and put in waste can.

  5. Tip

    You may want to dispose of the old bulb by placing it in an outside waste can.


    When a mercury vapour bulb explodes or is broken, it will spew shards of glass. It is important not to drop the old or new bulb and dispose of it properly to prevent injury.

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Things You'll Need

  • Mercury vapour light
  • Mercury vapour light bulb
  • Garden gloves or Leather gloves
  • Ladder

About the Author

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