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Changing a broken light bulb can be tricky business. One wrong move, and you’ve got a not-so-safe situation. And the clean-up? Pain in the rear. This time around, skip on the stress and follow these five simple steps from Chris Jordan for an ultra easy switcheroo.

From Chris JordanEveryone has had the experience of a light bulb breaking off in the socket. Getting the bulb out of the socket can be a real challenge. Have you ever heard of the potato trick? You take half of a raw potato, push it into the bulb base, and then turn the potato to remove the bulb. I guess this would be effective if I had potatoes on hand, but I usually don’t. Also, potatoes can be messy and I picture a lot of moisture, something which doesn’t seem like a good idea around electricity. There are other more effective ways to get the broken light bulb out of the socket. So get out your toolbox.

1) Make sure that you’ve turned the power off to your light fixture. If it’s a lamp, unplug it. If it’s an overhead light, turn off the circuit breaker.

2) If you have some sort of work gloves, put them on. If you don’t, be very careful. If you’re working above your head, put on glasses of some type. You don’t want glass shards falling in your eyes.

3) Using your needle-nosed pliers, grab the edge of the metal base of the light bulb and bend it slightly inward.

4) Turn the base in the same direction you’d turn to remove an intact bulb. Psst, that’s counter-clockwise.

5) Once you’re done, vacuum up the area glass to completely get rid of any glass shards.

But what do you do if the light bulb is screwed deeply into the socket and there is no metal edge to grab? You can try to shove the needle-nosed pliers in between the space of the light fixture and the metal light bulb base, but you risk damaging the light fixture itself. The easiest thing to do is to head back to your toolbox and grab your regular pliers.

1) Insert the pliers into the broken base as far as they can go.

2) Open the pliers so that they’re pressing on the inner sides of the metal bulb base.

3) Holding the pliers in this manner, turn them counter clock-wise. The broken light bulb base should come loose.

4) Of course, vacuum up the area when you’re done.

Author: Chris Jordan