Unless you have a handyman on retainer, light fixture installation is typically a DIY project.
When it comes to changing a light fixture, there are a number of considerations, from the fixtures themselves to safety, that will factor into your project.
How do you swap out lights? To change a light fixture over a stairway, use an extendable ladder, scaffolding or extension pole to avoid falling off an ordinary ladder. If you choose to hire a professional electrician, they will have all the right equipment and know-how to complete the job quickly and efficiently.
Replacing a light fixture over stairs may seem like a difficult or dangerous job, but it really isn’t. This article will go through the important steps of changing a light fixture.
1. Extension ladder
Light-duty long extension ladders are perfect for changing light fixtures over stairways.
They are usually made of aluminum, which is lightweight and resistant to corrosion.
These ladders can be folded up very easily, making them portable and easy to store away after you’re done.
Just remember that some ladders may not have locks or safety cables, so make sure your ladder is securely locked into place before you start working with it.
Specialty ladders that articulate and bend make them even more maneuverable.
But they are expensive too!
2. Adjustable scaffolding for stairs / stair tower scaffold
A stable and safe scaffolding system will alleviate your stress and worry when you are changing a light fixture over stairways.
With walk-through functionality, you can access your work area with ease, and you’ll be able to reach a large ceiling area fast.
The ramps and risers are level with the ground so that you can easily walk on them.
Even better, height adjustable base plates can be added to accommodate an uneven flooring or the pitch of stairs.
It’s easy to move the scaffolding system, thanks to the casters on each of the legs.
3. Bulb changing extension poles
You really don’t need to go through the trouble of getting on a ladder or standing on a scaffold to change a light bulb.
A pole with a long handle and an adjustable head will easily reach out and replace an old light bulb.
The extension pole is great if you are changing multiple light fixtures.
Plus, the lights can be changed according to your height preference.
Just simply twist the head of the pole to direct it where you need it most.
For an extra reach, purchase a telescoping grabber that can be adjusted vertically while it is in place.
4. Wear boots
A variety of hazards exist when working with a ladder and extension pole.
You could slip and fall many stories if you didn’t wear comfortable, sturdy, closed-toe boots.
Your feet could get wet with moisture and sweat if you don’t wear waterproof leather boots.
Boots made with sturdy steel toe caps will also protect your toes from fractures and other injuries.
Also, rubber soled shoes insulate your feet from the electrical shock. And when climbing a ladder, the shoes should be slip resistant to prevent falls.
5. Don’t do the work alone
For these change-out plans, there may be a two-person recommendation.
A second person can help to move the ladder or scaffold, hold the light fixture and hand it to you while installing.
Considering your safety and the safety of others, it is better to have a helper for this project.
Having someone around is important to watch over you in case things go wrong or even ensure the ladder is stable and firm.
They will also be on the lookout so objects do not fall onto anyone passing below the ladder.
6. Don’t carry anything
When working with extension ladders and scaffolding, you definitely don’t want to have anything in your hands.
You don’t want to be carrying tools, materials or even a cell phone.
Keep your hands free for balance and stability on the ladder or scaffolds.
Also, your hands should be dry so that you are able to grip tightly onto the ladder or scaffold rails.
You want your mind to be completely focused on changing the light fixture, not holding onto something else.
7. Hire a professional
Find a professional electrician to do the work for you.
They have the experience, tools and training needed to safely complete this task.
And he or she may even provide you with a few safety tips for you to learn along the way.
They will have a great idea on how to approach your situation and install any additional accessory and fixture that you may require.
Isolating the light fixture is critical, so they will definitely have that on their checklist.
Erecting, then fastening the light fixture over the top of your staircase will require quite a bit of skill.