This is why we can't have nice things

This video is about stuff: light bulbs, printers, phones and why they aren't better. Go to and use code VERITASIUM to get a 2-year plan plus 1 additional month with a huge discount. It’s risk free with Nord’s 30 day money-back guarantee!
The Man in the White Suit -
London, B. (1932). Ending the depression through planned obsolescence. -
Slade, G. (2009). Made to break: Technology and obsolescence in America. Harvard University Press -
Krajewski, M. (2014). The great lightbulb conspiracy. IEEE spectrum, 51(10), 56-61. -
Planet Money, The Phoebus Cartel -
The Light Bulb Conspiracy -
Special thanks to Patreon supporters: Mac Malkawi, Oleksii Leonov, Michael Schneider, Jim Osmun, Tyson McDowell, Ludovic Robillard, jim buckmaster, fanime96, Juan Benet, Ruslan Khroma, Robert Blum, Richard Sundvall, Lee Redden, Vincent, Lyvann Ferrusca, Alfred Wallace, Arjun Chakroborty, Joar Wandborg, Clayton Greenwell, Pindex, Michael Krugman, Cy 'kkm' K'Nelson, Sam Lutfi, Ron Neal
Written by Derek Muller and Petr Lebedev
Animation by Ivan Tello
Filmed by Derek Muller and Raquel Nuno
Edited by Derek Muller
Video supplied by Getty Images
Music by Jonny Hyman and from"Aquatic Planet", "Rhythm of Dreams", "Tread Lightly", "Unexpected Visitors", "Curved Mirrors" "Drunken Lullaby" "Fluorescent Lights"
Thumbnail by Raquel Nuno and Karri Denise


  • Felix JN
    Felix JN13 mínútum síðan

    Thank you! You have a lot of good episodes, but this is one of my favourite so far!

  • El White Boy
    El White Boy13 mínútum síðan

    Planned obsolescence.

  • Deans n LiPo
    Deans n LiPo27 mínútum síðan

    I have changed all the LEDs in my house a little less often than I would incandescent bulbs. The power supply is what wears out so I think light bulbs are still following the old model.

  • LaGodny
    LaGodny32 mínútum síðan

    Last year I bought 100 LED light bulbs for church and they supposed to last 25 years but unfortunately all of them already burned after one year. Some of them burned in one month and one by one they all burned so manufacturers laying to us and stilling our money. They are criminals.

  • nick mccurdie
    nick mccurdie40 mínútum síðan

    Well light bulbs are only “meant” to last such a short time so the companies making them make money, and electricity companies don’t have to come out and say that electricity could be free and used forever without any limit on usage.

  • Anthony Yaoyang.T
    Anthony Yaoyang.T40 mínútum síðan

    Capitalism at its finest

  • Redhoney sugarOrange
    Redhoney sugarOrange51 mínútu síðan

    Reminds me of the movie robots

  • Eduardo .Monares
    Eduardo .MonaresKlukkustund síðan


  • Tisha Arboleda
    Tisha ArboledaKlukkustund síðan

    In the early 20th century, Filipino electrician Agapito Flores invented the fluorescent lamp, which was allegedly named after himself.

  • Andy MacNicol
    Andy MacNicolKlukkustund síðan

    This episode is awesome

  • D
    DKlukkustund síðan

    dirty cartel bastards

  • LampDoesVideogame
    LampDoesVideogameKlukkustund síðan

    Pssst. The entirety of QI is posted on YT @QI TV Show

  • Motri
    Motri2 klukkustundum síðan

    Well,led light bulbs are just worst then every other bulbs. No mater what company or quality. If it doesnt break it just loses light. In one year or so you end up with almost have the light...

  • Cocoa
    Cocoa2 klukkustundum síðan

    "Capitalism promotes innovation." The capitalism practice in question:

  • Pedro147
    Pedro1472 klukkustundum síðan

    This light bulb cartel was the beginning of designed obselecance

  • Michael Smith
    Michael Smith2 klukkustundum síðan

    I bought a washer, dryer, refrigerator and stove in 1982 when I bought my new house for 47K. I just replaced my washer this year 2021. My car is a 1997 Mazda b 2200 purchased new in 1997 and I still have that. Believe me I know about planned obsolescence. I stay away from Chinese products as much as possible, they don't last and are a great threat to America.I watched in 2020 as my wife had to retire early because of the CCP Flu and planned global gov. Amazon and Walmart got very wealthy as was planned, I won't buy from either of them. As consumers I have found I don't need a new wizit every year, I don't need one and it really doesn't make this old fossil any happier. I have however gotten more PO'ed as time goes by watching these global bastards screw every one around.

  • John Mcmillan
    John Mcmillan2 klukkustundum síðan

    I had the "built to break" thing figured out before I was 10, What rock have you been under?

  • Ashish Tyagi
    Ashish Tyagi2 klukkustundum síðan

    They live

  • Jaden Potts
    Jaden Potts2 klukkustundum síðan

    this is an interesting arugument against capitalism

  • Anarchy Antz
    Anarchy Antz3 klukkustundum síðan

    LED bulbs are NOT everlasting at all, that is a lie. I have had to replace 7 of the things in the last couple of years and they are not cheap. Have a three bulb fitting, one went, a week later the next followed by the third and all brought at the same time and not even run all the time. Thing is with this "right to repair" is you will get all these home users trying it, injuring themselves then blaming and suing the manufactures when it goes tits up. Or your car could have all its data collected as per American adverts showing it being done, same for phones and laptops. Look at cases where your data has ended up in the news because someone leaked it to the press when your device went in for repair with these third party people. They should be given to the proper people. And I wouldnt trust someone sponsored by NORD VPN who failed to tell their users for 18 months when they were hacked and had a massive data breach.

  • wishbones
    wishbones3 klukkustundum síðan

    I’ll start the bid for the nft of that lightbulb for 20 million. Someone will say one day.

  • Silkworm
    Silkworm4 klukkustundum síðan

    I'd argue your point at the end was incorrect and ironic since yiu opened with an original light bulb that supposedly has been on continuous for over a hundred years. No LED light bulb (except in theory) has that lifespan. Also I can almost be certain the socket will have changed in 100 years

  • Hawk Volante
    Hawk Volante4 klukkustundum síðan

    It's not just light bulbs everything is made to break so we the consumer has to buy pretty much everything in our homes, even our cars. If everything was made to last forever, companies would go broke and they can't let that happen thanks to greed!

  • Neuronaut Alpha-1
    Neuronaut Alpha-14 klukkustundum síðan

    Oh, if you say so. As long as someone can tell me what's what. Cuz, u know I can't make up my own mind. Get a life.

  • J.E. B.
    J.E. B.4 klukkustundum síðan

    Anyone else on here to say you've bought LED bulbs that haven't lasted very long?

  • 2to2
    2to24 klukkustundum síðan

    LED light commercial...

  • jubuttib
    jubuttib4 klukkustundum síðan

    Waiting for someone to actually make a socketable LED bulb that reliably lasts for significantly longer than compact fluorescent ones. I at least have had very bad luck with mine (been using bulbs from Philips, Airam, Osram, Ikea, and some other random lesser known ones). I don't think it's necessarily the diodes that keep breaking, from what I can tell the problem is mainly the power supply portion. An LED can't run on your normal AC power from the wall, it needs a small power supply unit to get the kind of electricity it needs. And apparently building this into the base/stem of a pretty small bulb light isn't trivial, and can lead to longevity issues. The longest running LED "bulb" I have is a 2000 lumen one that specifically has a big finned metal base to help keep the PSU portion cool, that has been running for years and years now. And a couple of low power ones, which don't really seem to warm up. My 600-1200 lumen bulbs, which I'd prefer to use for general lighting though, those get really hot at the base, and don't seem to last too long.

  • Chris Bartos
    Chris Bartos4 klukkustundum síðan

    Dude. this channel is INCREDIBLE AF!

  • jubuttib
    jubuttib4 klukkustundum síðan

    Great video overall, but I'm sad to see the "Ford Model T was only available in black" myth perpetuated. It was always available in various colors, and black wasn't even an option until many years into the production. "A common myth is that all model T’s were black. While Henry Ford did say “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it’s black,” the policy was in place solely for efficiency and uniformity. The car was only offered in black from 1914-1925, however before and after that various models of the vehicle could be purchased in a variety of colors including blue, red, grey, and green."

  • Abhinav Sharma
    Abhinav Sharma5 klukkustundum síðan

    Apple has been making a fool of everyone, but the fact is there is no perfect fool. Just a different one every season.

  • CJWarlock
    CJWarlock5 klukkustundum síðan

    So, basically, these industry tycoons were not creative enough and not ambitious enough to create next business after the former one had lost its usefulness, therefore they stuck to viciously addicting their customers to insanely short-lasting products. And the society pays the environmental costs with short-lasting health. ;)

  • Silkworm
    Silkworm5 klukkustundum síðan

    This is the reason a lot of us stopped using Apple products years ago.

  • wreckcelsior
    wreckcelsior5 klukkustundum síðan

    Planned obsolescence... makes me think of robots. cheers.

  • Lucky Auto
    Lucky Auto5 klukkustundum síðan

    and this is why we have global warming and pollution. where is tesla and his limitless energy? Cars used to be better, and now everything is manufactured to be used for a while and broken. filling up landfills and our oceans dying.

  • Zap Gun
    Zap Gun5 klukkustundum síðan

    For a sponsored video, one that's only 17 and a half minutes long no less, this has got an awful lot of advertisements in it. Bit disappointed.

  • daniel kinney
    daniel kinney5 klukkustundum síðan

    i ordered Nord VPN off your videos. Works awesome glad i got it for my entire Apple 2 Mac Book Pro's & iMac 2 iPhones & iPad

  • Diksaca Yehovah
    Diksaca Yehovah5 klukkustundum síðan

    The same corporate consciousness trying to control every aspect of human life through the political vehicle known as muh "climate change" but is really Agenda 21 is the same consciousness behind the planned obsolescence that violates the earth of resources to make stuff that ends up in a landfill. So illuminati so enlightened these maya mon.keys of Clown-Yuga.

  • antlerr
    antlerr6 klukkustundum síðan

    something soo small as a lightbulb made to break yet is possible to have need of only one lightbulb forever....... misses the huge picture if they did that to a light something so small what else could be only need of one yet forced to have crap huh??????? pick a object anyone! so you and everyone else miss the huge picture and still are dumb sheep lead to slaughter.

  • Diksaca Yehovah
    Diksaca Yehovah6 klukkustundum síðan

    capitalism devolves into cartel syndicates. The entire planet is run by cartels. From central banking cartels (Rothschild, Oppenheimer, Warburg, Schiff) all the way down to the lowest common denominator.

  • Diksaca Yehovah
    Diksaca Yehovah6 klukkustundum síðan

    Dat capitalism Clown-Yuga burden tho

  • daniel kinney
    daniel kinney6 klukkustundum síðan

    I just want to marry you.

  • Johann Gambolputty
    Johann Gambolputty6 klukkustundum síðan

    Thanks for covering this in so much detail!

  • FigJam963
    FigJam9637 klukkustundum síðan

    That last statement relies on the component it's built with, some cheap bulbs have cheap LEDs that burn out, and just like the old Christmas lights, one bulbs burnt out, they all go, unless you can Crack it open and bypass the burnt out LED...

  • DIY Dave
    DIY Dave7 klukkustundum síðan

    But we are already seeing the reality of the false flag of years-long LED bulbs. Yes, the LED itself lasts nearly indefinitely as a practical matter, but they are being packaged into garbage components with cheap (well, crappy) power supplies, cheap capacitors, and dodgy circuitry - all of which are proving to fail almost as frequently as the old incandescent bulbs they were destined to replace. So I've already changed several LED bulbs - three just in the last week, ironically enough - and my house is twenty years old. So we're not *quite* to that sell-my-house-before-changing-a-bulb nirvana just yet.

  • Random Things _official channel_
    Random Things _official channel_7 klukkustundum síðan

    ᗩᗯEᔕOᗰE ᐯIᗪEO

  • Ismail Vaseer
    Ismail Vaseer7 klukkustundum síðan

    please make channel name easy i cant pronounce the name when i try to suggest someone.

  • Ismail Vaseer
    Ismail Vaseer7 klukkustundum síðan

    i knew that becuase i lived in pakistan and we use Chinese products which break after using few days

  • Random Things _official channel_
    Random Things _official channel_7 klukkustundum síðan

    Planned obsolescence can also be said about the evolution of jeans trends As ripped and torn jeans became the latest fashion and was more costlier than the ordinary jeans. Now beggers Even Seems to be in the latest trends

  • sachin singh
    sachin singh8 klukkustundum síðan

    Okay, so this video was showing in my youtube feed repeatedly. I was avoiding this video because of its length. Finally out of frustration I clicked on the video found it very informative. Thanks

  • Night Fury
    Night Fury8 klukkustundum síðan

    very captivating video

  • acolytetojippity
    acolytetojippity8 klukkustundum síðan

    the original Model Ts were not available in Black. The paint became an eventual bottleneck in the manufacturing process, having to wait for it to dry was taking too much time. A new paint came out that was fast-drying but it was only available in black.

  • Andy Green
    Andy Green8 klukkustundum síðan

    Turns out Corporate Conspiracies have been keeping technology back on purpose so they can sell more inefficient bulbs! Take a guess what other industries have been doing this... Ahem Big Pharma Perhaps it is Time we the People fine these companies for holding humanity back & furthering unnecessary pollution. Perhaps We The People need to take back what is Ours & hold these crooks responsible for their crimes against humanity.

  • IkkySubmits
    IkkySubmits8 klukkustundum síðan

    I never knew repairing something is a right

  • Dogaru Alexandru-Stefan
    Dogaru Alexandru-Stefan9 klukkustundum síðan

    We need a resource based economy. Like the one advocated by The Venus Project

  • John C
    John C9 klukkustundum síðan

    Back to lightbulbs, I now only buy LED ones. Whenever the incandescent ones die, I replace them with LED and I've yet to replace one of those.

  • John C
    John C9 klukkustundum síðan

    By the way, as far as Apple, I don't have any of their products. Why? They're simply too expensive compared to other brands. I once had an iPod Touch that just kept getting slower and slower. Now, my regular phone does everything that device could do. So, I never bought another iPod. I remember that I originally bought it for $200. My cell-phone is far cheaper than that and far more useful. Also, Apple products aren't typically compatible with a lot of other products.

  • Samual Sisk
    Samual Sisk9 klukkustundum síðan

    Seems like capitalism is prohibiting innovation.

  • Lost Puppy
    Lost Puppy9 klukkustundum síðan

    Still going on even with anti trust laws. Now common practice actually for many industries. This is not surprising. Ty for the info.

  • John C
    John C9 klukkustundum síðan

    My only problem with all this is when government gets involved. I'm a strong supporter of a total free market. But, the way I handle this is still the same. I seek the best value at the lowest prices. In this case, "best value" now means longest-lasting. Most batteries are marketed like that; Energizer is one example. I seek the longest-lasting vehicles, which are typically older Toyotas. I have a 1999 Camry and 2011 Tundra. The Camry will probably last longer. I have a Lenovo Thinkpad laptop that I bought used and has yet to have any problems. If this ever does die, I'm still not buying a new laptop. See, one thing that companies need to remember if they consider designing products to eventually be obsolete is that this hurts their reputation. If we go back to lightbulbs, I realize that I never even consider the brand. I always look for the ones that last the longest. If they still had a cartel pact to limit longevity, then the one that is just a little longer-lasting is still more competitive. Therefore, there's still incentive for companies to break the pact and for outside companies to also produce longer-lasting equivalents given newer, more developed technologies. As far as employment, such developments simply means the job market being shifted a bit towards a different area. One product might become virtually indefinite, as far as lifespan. But, there is still plenty of work to be done in other products. And, there are always new products to be designed, built, and developed to meet new consumer demand. In the late 1800's, automobiles became a new market. Then, aircraft did the same. Spacecraft are currently at a similar onset. Computers were once nonexistent. Now, everyone has them. What previously nonexistent technology may arise in the near future is virtually anyone's guess.

  • The_3lue_Gamer
    The_3lue_Gamer9 klukkustundum síðan

    Another great video thank you again

  • hokiturmix
    hokiturmix9 klukkustundum síðan

    Old Spice and the HDD are the all time best ever inventions. ... and ofc the hammer and the nail.

  • Scot Rutherford
    Scot Rutherford9 klukkustundum síðan

    Is that Alec Guinness in the movie clip?

  • Harsh
    Harsh9 klukkustundum síðan

    Great video

  • Andy
    Andy10 klukkustundum síðan

    It's because of capitalism, there.

    THE BGSTER10 klukkustundum síðan

    Planned obsolescence

  • The Way
    The Way10 klukkustundum síðan

    Now that we have LED bulbs, we can inform the masses that they were being fleeced for 100 years. Take this principle and multiply it by most everything we have, especially the expensive stuff.

  • alistairose
    alistairose10 klukkustundum síðan

    Where is the credit to The Lightbulb Conspiracy, film which you have effectively just re-made. It needed doing, but the original MUST be credited!!!

  • Chris D
    Chris D10 klukkustundum síðan

    Just a great example of how capitalism sees a need and creates a perpetual slave system rather than solution.

  • Paul Johnssen
    Paul Johnssen11 klukkustundum síðan

    14:10 does the iPhone 12 look like an iPhone 10, but only a a but different? Check. Is there nothing new in the new iPhones? Check

  • Stephen Gill
    Stephen Gill11 klukkustundum síðan

    I just restored 9 vintage typewriters that were 50 to 110 years old. They still work fine. Making a quality typewriter did not put them out if business, the Congress Paper Reduction Act did. There is still a lot of serviceable quality products made you just have to do your research before buying them.

  • Sven1222225
    Sven122222511 klukkustundum síðan

    no it isnt they have cheap transformer(stepdown) so the LED still breaks after 1k-2k /h

  • Jakov Vodanović
    Jakov Vodanović12 klukkustundum síðan

    I'm completely okay with artificial obsolesence. If people want new models, colors, what have you, I see no problems there.

  • Night Muppet
    Night Muppet12 klukkustundum síðan

    Lots of inventions are suppressed, because how would they make money? I mean look at the electric car.

  • Rotor Ryan
    Rotor Ryan12 klukkustundum síðan

    Hahahah not even close bud. Efficacy, beam angle, and color are everything. Where was this cabal when LEDs came out. Our family has worked with light for generations and hold a ton of lighting firsts.

  • TheAntagonista
    TheAntagonista13 klukkustundum síðan

    when i had a nokia 3310, it lasted me for years, even 10 years, now my smart phones barely last me for 2 years bc after 2 years their battery dies after 2 years. i had a pair of jeans which it lasted me over 10 years, and it was a cheap one, not a branded one, nowadays clothes barely last me 2 years.

  • Yunus İleri
    Yunus İleri13 klukkustundum síðan

    Now they sell rgb leds :D

  • Roland Zuber
    Roland Zuber13 klukkustundum síðan

    "I began watching TV again. I quickly realized that everything we see is designed to sell us something. ... It's all about wanting us to buy something. The only thing they want to do is take our money." --- John Carpenter, some time in the 80s

  • Kamalesh Rinku
    Kamalesh Rinku13 klukkustundum síðan

    Thanks for insight... I'll fix this issue😉

  • Anak Network
    Anak Network13 klukkustundum síðan

    Now you are wrong about the LED lightbulb coz mine dead every 6 month and its friggin Phillips, cheap one by the way but still...

  • rustyroo82
    rustyroo8214 klukkustundum síðan

    'The lightbulb conspiracy' is a great film. I love when they talked to the Soviets

  • Anjali Parekh
    Anjali Parekh14 klukkustundum síðan

    What about increasing pollution and earth is dying thing🙄

  • Arc
    Arc15 klukkustundum síðan

    Cool vid

  • Wouter
    Wouter15 klukkustundum síðan

    how did they enforce those fines?

  • GitarStu
    GitarStu15 klukkustundum síðan

    This is one of the best videos on ISsofts and needs to be shared far and wide. There's so many people being shafted by companies like Apple, and no one (apart from small number of people) seem to care. We need to stop this.

  • dustiaffi
    dustiaffi15 klukkustundum síðan

    Anyone who can draw a parallel with the pharmaceutical industry and their 'products' ..?

  • No Body
    No Body15 klukkustundum síðan

    The only problem is---these broadcasters are catching on, and if they detect a VPN...they lock you out--you can't even log in. At least if you don't use the VPN they log you in and you get to watch your favorite shows... in a FOREIGN LANGUAGE (just because I am here now does NOT mean I speak the language!).

  • Dexter
    Dexter15 klukkustundum síðan

    Unreal! This Video is Great!

  • MPRF12345
    MPRF1234515 klukkustundum síðan

    I'd actually say that as long as the consumer is not lied to and knows all the details about what they're buying, then the company should be able to sell the product however they want. Sure, being able to repair my phone would be cool, but if the company designed it, then they should be able to do it whatever they want, for example.

  • No Body
    No Body15 klukkustundum síðan

    I used to have a TV repair shop...everything got to be "throw away"... it wasn't feasible to stay in business. Additionally, new items came with useless tech manuals and lack of information. I can't even imagine what the detailed schematics of a modern day SINGLE CHIP would look like--especially that of a gaming class AMD or 10th Gen INTEL Processor. (And by detailed, I mean right down the the transistor layer detail.)

  • No Body
    No Body16 klukkustundum síðan

    Planned Obsolescence... you think MAN made that up??? Mother nature has been doing that for MINNELLI. Try storing apples or oranges for years on end without eating them...

  • HollywoodF1
    HollywoodF116 klukkustundum síðan

    John DeLorean was very much against planned obsolescence, and GM consequently became against John DeLorean, When he came out with his stainless steel and fiberglass car, he designed it for long-term use. GM pulled some strings and got the FBI to set up a PR problem big enough to sink DeLorean, but not before he made a car that I still drive every day, even though it’s 40 years old.

  • Shr Sri
    Shr Sri16 klukkustundum síðan

    I am using this video in my exam answer and crediting you along. Its an handwritten exam so cannot provide direct hyperlink.

  • dreamcrafter888
    dreamcrafter88817 klukkustundum síðan

    Check out the history of the Peugeot 403... it nearly closed the company because there were too few parts sold for it... It was too reliable... (it was the last time they made that mistake)

  • adventus saxonum
    adventus saxonum17 klukkustundum síðan

    Excellent video. Just one thing - screw fittings aren't ubiquitous. In the UK, bayonet fittings are more common, except in spotlights(which tend to use the small ES fitting).

  • Emik Zotic
    Emik Zotic18 klukkustundum síðan

    So this is why willy wonka never released the everlasting gobstopper :(

  • Dennison J
    Dennison J19 klukkustundum síðan

    Videos like these can inspire people to seek after better things in the world. Maybe, in the distant future, people will stop trusting corporations and seek after scientists' and engineers' advice, those who really care enough.

  • Guess my name
    Guess my name19 klukkustundum síðan

    So this is why you can't take batteries out of phones

  • Merwyn Soares
    Merwyn Soares19 klukkustundum síðan

    Legend says when the buld turns off the world is gonna end .

  • Jonathan
    Jonathan20 klukkustundum síðan

    Yo is that Alec Guinness

  • r3con woo
    r3con woo21 klukkustund síðan

    I bought a Samsung Galaxy Smartwatch in 2018 for the sole purpose of playing music on my earbuds while exercising without having my phone on me but now with the most recent update they want me to delete practically all my music just to make room for their new software.. The watch barely holds 100 songs as it is..