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Question DetailsAsked on 2/3/2016

Who changes bulbs in a 30-40 ft high church ceiling?

This is a Church sanctuary in Caanton, GA

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2 Answers



This is Erick in Member Care. Thanks for your interest in Angie's List!

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Answered 4 years ago by Member Services


That is too high for a long-reach bulb changing tool (about $50-100 minus) - those can generally only reach about 20 some feet. So - sounds like you need a commercial building maintenance company - not an AL category. For that height they would normally use a tight-quarters slab scissors manlift - many can go through 3 or 4 foot aisles and halls, and reach up to about 20-25 feet typically (so 26-31' hand height). Higher than that usually have to use a hydraulic extendable arm type lift, which increases the charges for equipment from a couple hundred or so to more like three to five hundred per trip. Because of the equipment cost, commonly institutional places like yours replace ALL the high bulbs at one time (assuming they are going out due to old age, not specific failure or damsge of one bulb) to minimize the trips - maybe saving the still functioning bulbs for reuse in lower fixtures that can be replaced by the church maintenance person or parson/priest/etc off a stepladder.

And of course, if it takes a manlift to change them, you generally want to use extreme long-life bulbs, even though they cost a fair % more, to minimize the number of bulb changing operations over time. And of course, buying the cheapo chinese ones is not cost-effective when you find out they only last 5-10% of their "rated" life - go with top quality brands like GE and - oh - GE - and maybe - GE ? (You can tell I have been turned off by rotten performance by modern bulbs from Sylvania and Westinghouse and such).

Might ask around the congregation in the "business and notices" part at the next service if anyone owns such a company (either building maintenance or one who owns a manlift of adequste height) or works at a company with high lights and could ask who they use.

Also - if part of an organized parish system or such - sometimes the central church office for an area has an open maintenance contract for light changing, window washing, beam and ledge cleaning, and such high work where they have an open contract, and calls for service to specific churches are made against that contract as needed - or on a scheduled basis perhaps for work like this, so the pastor or whatever could check with his higher-ups to see if they have such a setup. Even if not, he could ask around at next area meeting to see who other churches are using and their experience with them.

One other possibility - though would take an expert or Architect to tell you for your particular fixtures - many high-ceiling buildings like churches and libraries and auditoriums and pools and such which have suspended (as opposed to in-ceiling) lights use swag suspension - designed to reach out from an adjacent balcony or railing and grab them with a hook and sway them to the railing to change the bulb. Of course, do this with a rigid-mount fixture and you cause a real problem - so you have to be sure which type you have. Also - in some newer churches and similar high-ceiling buildings, the actual in-ceiling fixtures are removeable from a crawlspace or catwalk above them - they retract or pivot up into the "attic" for maintenance and bulb changing.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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