Hi everybody! Today’s post is a super simple DIY project that you can get done in 15 minutes or less!
My garage door opener bulb recently went out, leaving us in darkness when we left for work in the mornings (yes, we leave that early) and in the dark when we come home in the evening. It was annoying to fumble around in the dark to find the right key for our laundry room door, so I decided to do something about it.
I’m sorry this doesn’t have as many pictures as I would have liked; I didn’t want to drop my phone from the ladder! I think you’ll get the idea, though. 🙂
This tutorial should cover most garage door openers found in peoples’ homes.
What you’ll need:
- Ladder (unless you’re really, really tall!)
- Screwdriver (mine could use either a Phillips or a flat one)
- New bulb (I like LED bulbs for their longevity and efficiency)
Time to complete: <15 minutes
First, set up your ladder on a flat surface. If you don’t have one, here’s the one I have* so you can get an idea of what to get. You can pick one up at any hardware store or even some big box stores. You’ll want to place it near the garage door opener, but not directly underneath. If you place it directly underneath, you’ll find it awkward to bend your body to unscrew the cover to the light. If you’re having to contort your body, you’re making yourself unsafe. Don’t do it. Try to shake your ladder to see if it’s flat on the floor. If it’s not, reposition it until it doesn’t wobble.
If you have to climb up and down in order to get it right, that’s fine. You’ll get the hang of where the ladder goes for your future projects soon enough.
Make sure you’re wearing some sort of flat shoes. Yes, you can climb a ladder barefoot (done it), in socks (done it), or in heels (haven’t done it), but it’s much less safe that way. You can climb in flip-flops, but I’ve always found shoes to be the safest bet.
I have a very
unhealthy fear of heights, but I’ve found that when I’m determined to get something done, I can suppress it for the duration of the project (if it’s fairly short). It helps to have a sturdy ladder under your feet and good, solid shoes on.
Make sure the ladder is open and the folding parts on the side are flat. Don’t leave them partially folded. Safety always comes first.
For this next part, all I have is a picture of me screwing the cover back on, but I hope it’ll show you what you need to know. Since you don’t know what bulb you need yet, you’ll need to find out during this step.
Grab your trusty screwdriver and unscrew the cover as shown in the picture. Mine had only two screws. Turn the screwdriver to the LEFT (counter-clockwise) to undo the screw.
Remember: left loosens, right tightens.
Keep the screws in a secure location (my ladder has some spaces on the top that held my screws) and remove the cover to reveal the bulb.
I found that my bulb was a standard light bulb like you’d use in a lamp or ceiling fan, so finding a new one was easy. I was able to climb down the ladder, go inside my house, and grab a new LED bulb.
If yours isn’t a standard size, I recommend taking the bulb out and heading to your local hardware store. Show a person there the bulb and have them help you find a new one. Take a mental note of how you removed the bulb just in case it’s more complicated so you know how to put the new one in.
Climb back up the ladder, take out the old bulb, and put the new one in. My garage door had recently been opened, so my light came on. If yours is off, open your garage and see if it turns on. If it does, you’re done and can close things up!
Put the cover back on the way it came off and put your screws back in. Turn your screwdriver to the RIGHT (clockwise) to put the screws in. Climb off the ladder and admire your handiwork.
Are we done yet?
Not quite! One of the most important parts of DIY around your home is putting things back where they came from. Fold your ladder and put it back in its usual spot. Take your screwdriver and put it away. It’s never fun to go to do another project and not have your tools handy. If you don’t have a place for your tools, make one!
Take your bulb down with you to throw away. I recommend putting your bulb in some kind of bag before disposing of it so if it breaks in your garbage can, the glass doesn’t cut anybody. Click here to find out how to dispose of your particular bulb.
That’s it! Congrats on finishing your super simple DIY project!
If your light doesn’t turn on after you replaced the bulb, try removing and replacing the bulb again. Sometimes something makes a bad connection and it’ll usually solve the problem. If it doesn’t come on again, make sure you’ve tightened it enough. If it’s too loose, the bulb won’t make a good connection and won’t light up (or won’t light up consistently). Don’t over-tighten it.
If it still doesn’t turn on, try opening and closing your garage door opener again.
If you’ve tried the above and it still doesn’t work, I recommend calling a handy friend, a pro, or taking your problem to Google to see if somebody has a solution. Take note of the model of your garage door opener while you’re on the ladder if you have to resort to this method.
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