How to Change Light Bulbs on Ceiling Fans

Ceilings fans are an economic way to help you feel cool during warm weather and send down the heat that gets trapped near the ceiling during cold weather. Some ceiling fans are also light fixtures. The lights can be exposed or covered with a decorative globe. Changing the light bulb on a ceiling fan sounds simple enough, but sometimes it is difficult to figure out how to remove the globe.

  • Ladder
  • Light bulb
  • Wrench or screwdriver, if needed
Turn off the fan and lights using the light switch. This way, if you accidentally pull on the string, the lights and fan will not turn on. Wait about 30 minutes if the lights were on to let them cool off.

Climb on a ladder, such as a step ladder, that is rated to hold your weight. Consider having a second person hold the ladder, especially if you are climbing more than one or two steps.

Remove the globe, if any. Globes are held up in many different ways. Unscrew the decorative tip on the bottom of the globe to release it. If applicable, remove an additional washer and nut with a wrench. Alternatively, twist the globe around the thread of the light fixture. To untwist the globe, tips and nuts, turn them counterclockwise. Hold the globe up with the other hand while you do this step so it does not fall. Set them somewhere safe when done.

Take out the old bulbs by twisting them counterclockwise. Hold the bulbs by the base to do this, not by the glass, especially for a compact florescent bulb that contains mercury inside.

Replace the light bulbs by screwing them in clockwise. Again, hold the base, not the glass. Do not exceed the maximum watt allowance for your ceiling fan. A sticker near the light socket may indicate how many watts you can use. If not, look in the manual.

Replace the globe the same way you took it off. Usually, there are holes in which you need to thread back in the pull chains for the light and fan.

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