Ugly, but it works: DIY Lightbulb-grabber because we couldn’t find one locally or get one shipped from the Mainland

Contrivances The Diary of Lupin Pooter TØØLS
Once upon a time, this was a water bottle.
Once upon a time, this was a water bottle.

The light bulb in our storeroom blew back in February. The ceiling in that room is high enough that replacing the bulb from a stool isn’t do-able and the layout of our place (little doorways, narrow hall, and tight corners) makes maneuvering the fiberglass stepladder ladder we use when changing bulbs in other high-ceiling-room fixtures a royal pain. I could have gotten it into the storeroom, but not without a lot of scraping and gouging and aggravation. And it’s a small room, with some shelving and other stuff reducing the available floor space further, so fully-expanding the ladder would have been difficult.

There are purpose-built lightbulb-grabbers-and-changers, but I haven’t seen any for sale locally and the only time I got a Taobao seller to ship one, even though the package fell well within all of the weight and dimension limits, the consolidation warehouse rejected it as contraband.

So I made my own makeshift grabber from a water bottle, a meter or so of white 1″ PVC pipe, some clear non-slip underlay (STOPP Anti-slip underlay from IKEA), a bunch of zip ties, and a bit of cord. That last was for cinching the mouth of the thing tightly over the base of the bulb so that it would grip the plastic of the bulb globe with the non-slip underlay material. The drawstring worked but the small area of tight contact under the cord-sphincter wasn’t enough to get a sufficiently strong grip that I could twist the bulb lose. A couple of rubber bands, the black things in the photo, made it grab tightly enough. To my surprise the fixture takes bayonet-base bulbs (more commonly used, it seems, in campers and RVs). The removal of the dead bulb happened in late February. Weeks later, the light bulbs we ordered from Taobao still hadn’t been delivered, so S. and I got some locally earlier this evening and I installed one with this makeshift apparatus a short while ago.