Replace Porch Light Bulbs - too high. Is there a trick to this?

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The house I just moved into has a tall (two story) front entrance with a porch light suspended by a chain and hanging about 11ft off the ground. It has three candelabra lights and two of them are burnt out. My standard step ladder is too short and I have no way to reach the fixture. The fixture is open at the bottom but only about 5" in diameter and the bottom has a base that holds the light sockets and looks as though it could swing freely within the overall glass enclosure. Is there some trick to replacing the bulbs in these fixtures? If not then what a poor design this is to require such a tall step ladder to get to it. The bulbs are oriented pointing up (ie base down) so I can't use a pole and attachment to unscrew the bulbs from below. I've never had a porchlight like this and wonder what the trick is.
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I don't think there is a trick, other than the fact that you need a taller stepladder. Hanging the fixture any lower would probably make it easy to hit and break it. There are times and situations in a house where everything cannot be done with what you have on hand, requiring additional tools/supplies to do the job. There are probably other areas of the house that requires a tall ladder.

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An 8' ladder should do it. You might be able to pick one up used. Check CraigsList.
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jch wrote:

Is there a second floor window available and enough slack in the chain so that you can extend a long stick with a hook at the end to grab the chain and gently pull the chandelier in? Don't lean out too far :-)
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Is there a pair of posts nearby? If you are that lucky, you may be able to use a stepladder to temporarily put a long 2x4 between the posts so you can put an extension ladder on the 2x4. Should this be an option, be careful. Depending on the length of the 2x4, it could snap in the middle under certain conditions like height of cross, your weight, bouncing and especially if there's a knot or defect. You could double up screwing 2x4 to posts then another 2x4 to the first. No extension anyway ladder right?
An 8' should give the avg max safe work height of 12'. 8 footers are not that expensive new. Often on sale. Once you go to 10', prices jump at a steeper rate. Pop for the ladder. Bulbs are gonna blow as long as the light works. You'll find other uses for it anyway. Make sure you get the right ladder rating for your weight.
Third option is to mooch from new neighbor.
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Red Green wrote:

I've been looking around for a "ladder enabled" neighbor in favor of option 3. No luck so far. I guess a step new ladder could be in order since my 6footer is too short for the porch light. The other problem is an 18ft high flood light under the corner roof that I'd like to change to a motion sensitive unit. Of course my exstension ladder doesn't reach that. This is crazy. Not there's no railing or window or anyother handy way to get to the porch light. Maybe I'll just get a long extension ladder and try to use it for both the floodlight and the porchlight but that's $200-$300. The other problem with that is the large glass window (at the top of the two story foyer and of no help at all in getting to the light) that leaning a ladder against might break.
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If you had a buddy you could stand on his shoulders.
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On Mon, 1 Dec 2008 20:32:52 -0800 (PST), Rose

You could safely extend your ladder at least 2 cinder blocks high. Stack two blocks on all 4 corners and use 2x8s You gain about 18"
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Jump out of a 2nd story window and grab the fixture. Install the new bulbs drop down onto the hedge.
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Safely? I don't think so unless there were a 4x8 sheet of subfloor laid over it. This would cost maybe 1/3 the price of an 8'er. He's a homeowner. He needs and will need for a long time an 8' er. "Safely teetering" around on blocks with ladder legs is an oxymoron. You can even omit the "oxy".
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You could safely bolt 2x4s to the 4 legs of the step ladder extending the height a foot or maybe 2 if that is enough.
Free men own guns - www(dot)geocities(dot)com/CapitolHill/5357/
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Back the pickup under the light. Put the 6' er in the bed. Get 'er Dun. What? No pickup either?! You're hopeless! :-)
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Red Green wrote:

I've got a pick-up and would certainly do what you suggested tongue-in-cheek. The porch is actually a stucco portico and won't allow access and doesn't offer any other means of support for a platform.
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I'd make one trip, that would be to replace the fixture with something more practical. Candelabra lights are not known for their long life either.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

A commercial grade architectural metal halide fixture comes to mind. Will last a long time and be quite efficient as long as you can live with the slow startup.
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...

As usual Ed has come up with a practical answer.
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It's not crazy, it's reality. Quit whining and sell the damn house if this is such a problem.
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snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com wrote:

Thanks AH want to buy it?
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No but Jeezus Kee-rist. You're making such a big deal out of this. Get a grip on reality.
Any sane reasonable person would say, "I need a taller ladder," then go out and buy a taller ladder. Not you. "This is crazy... crazy... CRAAAAAAAAZEEEEEEEEE!!!!"
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snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com wrote:

Uh, you can RENT ladders pretty cheaply for a day, if you have a way to haul them. I have a 24' class 1a- longer than I really need, but it was 60 bucks cheaper than the 16' from the same manufacturer. Go figure.
If there is no place to lean an extension ladder, and you can't reach from an 8' stepladder, a couple of sections of scaffold would be tall enough. I agree- change the fixture to a guyed pendant with downward-facing bulbs you can change with the pole gripper. Life is too short, etc.
-- aem sends...
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