The 9 Best Bulb Changers

Updated August 26, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

9 Best Bulb Changers
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We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Sure, those vaulted ceilings in your new home look awesome, as does the lovely recessed lighting. That is, until one of those unreachable bulbs burns out. But worry not, friend. One of these nifty bulb changers will help you to easily get the dead light out and replace it, hopefully with a new energy efficient one that will last for years. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best bulb changer on Amazon.

9. Mr. LongArm 4003

The Mr. LongArm 4003 features flexible gripping fingers that reduce the chances of you dropping a light after extracting it from the socket. It works best with incandescent and compact fluorescent styles, but can be used on almost any type.
  • spring loaded design grips firmly
  • takes some force to attach to a bulb
  • must buy extender poles separately
Brand Mr. Longarm
Model 4003
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Unger FS00 Flood Sucker

The Unger FS00 Flood Sucker employs multiple small suction cups rather than one large cup, increasing your chances of gripping a floodlight securely. Unfortunately, it can only be used with poles that have tension clips, not universal threads.
  • works well even on dusty lights
  • only meant for wide recessed units
  • difficult to detach the bulb
Brand Unger
Model FS00
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Bayco LBC-600C Deluxe Kit

The Bayco LBC-600C Deluxe Kit should be the last one you'll ever need, no matter how many different types of lights you have installed in and around your property. It comes with three heads to tackle most jobs, each of which works with standard threaded poles.
  • good for recessed and floodlights
  • plastic construction feels cheap
  • suction cup isn't very strong
Brand Bayco
Model LBC-600C
Weight 6.4 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

6. Ettore 48450 Kit

The Ettore 48450 Kit is a great value considering its myriad attachments and the long, telescoping pole that comes with it. A great choice for homes or businesses with many styles of lights, it can access recessed and track lighting that other models can't.
  • pole extends more than 11 feet
  • includes broken bulb changer
  • pole tends to unscrew while in use
Brand Ettore
Model 48450
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

5. Alden Ease-Out

When there's shattered glass involved, swapping bulbs can be downright dangerous. You'll need the Alden Ease-Out to get the damaged unit out of its socket. It's constructed with insulated materials to prevent any chance of electrical shock.
  • safety shield protects your hands
  • reusable for multiple extractions
  • can't reach high fixtures
Brand Alden
Model 9220P
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. Wagic Giraffe

Available with both standard and candelabra-style attachments, the Wagic Giraffe is a versatile and sturdy choice that comes with a 6-foot extension pole, good for most home ceilings. It uses vacuum technology to create a firm grip.
  • pivots for angled access
  • powered by a 9 volt battery
  • remote control is a bit finicky
Brand Wagic
Model pending
Weight 3.8 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

3. Faraday Partners HighLight

Specifically designed to accommodate upward-facing bulbs like those on a chandelier, the Faraday Partners HighLight uses sticky silicone to create a firm hold on hard-to-reach lights. It's one of the only options available that works with flame-tipped bulbs.
  • pole won't bend or sway
  • separates into 3 parts for storage
  • great for cathedral ceilings
Brand HighLight
Model pending
Weight 4.9 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Bayco LBC-100

For standard incandescents, it's hard to beat the Bayco LBC-100. Its long fingers are kept taught with a tension spring and its body is bright yellow, making it easy to find when you're hurriedly rooting through your junk drawer.
  • adjustable tightening screw
  • weighs less than five ounces
  • also works on spiral fluorescents
Brand Bayco
Model LBC-100
Weight 6.4 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Stauber 45704

The Stauber 45704 is a simple device that is designed for heavier bulbs, with a super strong suction cup that prevents wobbling and drops. It features a press-fit steel pin that ensures the cup never spins while screwing in a new light.
  • includes a cleaning device
  • easy suction release wire
  • fits on any standard threaded pole
Model H&PC-45704
Weight 0.8 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Why It Pays to Use a Light Bulb Changer

Changing a light bulb is a delicate process, one that can be complicated by a variety of issues. A lot of light bulbs are hot, for example, and they can singe your hands just as easily as they can set a towel on fire. Owning a bulb changer eliminates those risks by placing you at a remove from the light bulb, and by enlisting a flame-retardant clamp that can't be set ablaze.

Shattering glass is a headache in any environment where a lot of hard-to-reach light bulbs need to be replaced. Not only do the shards require cleanup, but the bulb's base may wind up stuck inside a socket. There are select cases where a person may need to use a potato or some other non-conductor to ferret out the remaining parts. In a public setting, any broken glass can represent a liability. A broken bulb may also constitute an electrical hazard, one that could subject a company to significant OSHA fines, or worse.

If you're a business owner (or a supervisor), you'll want to discourage employees from using step ladders or office chairs to replace extinguished bulbs. The potential for injury in such a scenario is compounded by the fact that once an employee actually reaches the socket, he or she could get electrocuted or burned (either of which could result in a dangerous fall). The guiding principle, regardless of whether you are an employer, a parent, or a homeowner, is that a bulb changer can eliminate ant element of danger from this chore.

Several Little-Known Uses For a Bulb Changer

Most people are aware of how handy a bulb changer can be in the event that a light needs to be replaced, and yet a lot of people remain unaware that an average bulb changer can be used in a variety of everyday situations, as well. Consider, for example, that a long-arm bulb changer can be extended from a window to either scoop a ball out of a rain gutter, or to suction that ball out (assuming the ball is made of plastic, or something equally smooth). For stubborn items, you may need to apply petroleum jelly around the edges of the suction cup. The jelly operates like a sealant, providing the cup with more pull.

Any bulb changer with a clamp extractor can be used to pick fruit out of a tree, or to grapple items out of a pool. Any bulb changer with a clamp extractor can be used to pull appliances out of a cabinet, or to to pull tools down off a shelf. Any bulb changer with a clamp extractor can be used to recover a children's toy that has fallen - or rolled - underneath a parked car. Any bulb changer with a clamp extractor can be used to grasp the handle on a push-out window, and to pull that window shut.

Whenever you're housecleaning, you can wrap a damp cloth around the cylindrical front end of a bulb changer, secure that cloth with a rubber band, and then use the bulb changer to remove dust or cobwebs from remote spaces or high ceilings. The key to using a bulb changer for any of these circumstances is to clean and dry the bulb changer thoroughly before putting it away. Replacing light bulbs is a delicate business. You want your changer and its extensions to remain dry and clean and safe.

A Brief Biography of Thomas Edison (By Way of His Bulbs)

Thomas Edison did not invent the light bulb so much as he re-engineered it. By the time Edison began experimenting with carbon filaments during the late 1870s, several other inventors had already developed their own light bulbs, using copper and platinum wires along with various other catalysts. Edison differentiated his bulb by introducing a cheaper and more functional way to reproduce it. This, in turn, allowed for marketing electrical lamps to the general public.

Despite being received with skepticism, Edison's incandescent lamps (as he had begun to call them) eventually took off. This was largely due to several business owners who reported using the new lamps to great effect. The buzz surrounding light bulbs and incandescent lamps subsequently led to competition. First came the Electro-Dynamic Light Company, and then the U.S. Electric Lighting Company. Whereas most of these companies kept struggling to bring a cost-effective bulb to market, Thomas Edison was well on his way to developing a more efficient lamp.

In 1883, Thomas Edison was accused of stealing a manufacturing process related to the incandescent lamp by an electrical engineer named William E. Sawyer. A judge ruled that Edison was guilty, forcing Edison to appeal. Filing an appeal allowed the Edison Electric Light Company to continue doing business. Edison won the case, but it took him six years.

For the next 30 years, Edison worked out of an industrial-sized research lab (i.e., Menlo Park), which he had created in Raritan, New Jersey. When Edison passed away in 1931 at the age of 84, he had accumulated 1,093 patents. The man's legacy includes the invention of the phonograph, the telegraph, the motion picture camera, and, of course, the incandescent carbon-filament light bulb.

Raritan, New Jersey was renamed Edison Township on November 10, 1954.

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Last updated on August 26, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.

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