How to Change a Lightbulb in an Outdoor Lamp Post

Outdoor lamp posts are typically built with one of two types of enclosures for accessing the lightbulb socket. Either the top of the enclosure opens or one of the framed window panes swings outward on hinges. Replace the bulb for either type of fixture in a few minutes using a ladder, if necessary, and the help of a friend to hold the ladder steady while you work.

Some lamp posts have a removable cover to access the lightbulb.

Step 1

Switch off the circuit breaker in the building that controls electricity to the outdoor lamp post.

Step 2

Position the ladder beneath the lamp post if it is at a height you cannot reach. Recruit a friend to hold the ladder steady while you work.

Step 3

Pull the knob on the windowpane for a fixture that opens from the side, or remove one of the two screw knobs on top of a top-access light fixture. Use pliers to unscrew the top knob if it is stuck due to weather exposure.

Step 4

Inspect all sides of the bulb fixture for signs of corrosion. If the fixture shows rust and corrosion, remove as much of it as possible by rubbing a strip of abrasive tape against the fixture.

Step 5

Unscrew the old bulb and insert a new bulb with matching wattage in the socket, twisting clockwise to install the bulb. The watts rating is printed on the dome of the bulb.

Step 6

Close the lamp post fixture to prevent rain and snow from getting inside.

Step 7

Switch on power at the circuit breaker.