This is why we can't have nice things

26. mar. 2021
5 229 204 Ogledi

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

  • It's because of capitalism, there.

    AndyAndyPred 14 minutami
  • Planned obsolescence

    THE BGSTERTHE BGSTERPred 17 minutami
  • 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.

    The WayThe WayPred 34 minutami
  • 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!!!

    alistairosealistairosePred 43 minutami
  • Just a great example of how capitalism sees a need and creates a perpetual slave system rather than solution.

    Chris DChris DPred 53 minutami
  • 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

    Paul JohnssenPaul JohnssenPred uro
  • 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.

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

    Sven1222225Sven1222225Pred uro
  • I'm completely okay with artificial obsolesence. If people want new models, colors, what have you, I see no problems there.

    Jakov VodanovićJakov VodanovićPred 2 urami
  • Lots of inventions are suppressed, because how would they make money? I mean look at the electric car.

    Night MuppetNight MuppetPred 2 urami
  • 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.

    Rotor RyanRotor RyanPred 3 urami
  • 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.

    TheAntagonistaTheAntagonistaPred 3 urami
  • Now they sell rgb leds :D

    Yunus İleriYunus İleriPred 3 urami
  • "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

    Roland ZuberRoland ZuberPred 3 urami
  • Thanks for insight... I'll fix this issue😉

    Kamalesh RinkuKamalesh RinkuPred 3 urami
  • 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...

    Anak NetworkAnak NetworkPred 3 urami
  • 'The lightbulb conspiracy' is a great film. I love when they talked to the Soviets

    rustyroo82rustyroo82Pred 4 urami
  • What about increasing pollution and earth is dying thing🙄

    Anjali ParekhAnjali ParekhPred 4 urami
  • Cool vid

    ArcArcPred 5 urami
  • how did they enforce those fines?

    WouterWouterPred 5 urami
  • This is one of the best videos on SLworlds 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.

    GitarStuGitarStuPred 5 urami
  • Anyone who can draw a parallel with the pharmaceutical industry and their 'products' ..?

    dustiaffidustiaffiPred 5 urami
  • 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!).

    No BodyNo BodyPred 5 urami
  • Unreal! This Video is Great!

    DexterDexterPred 5 urami
  • 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.

    MPRF12345MPRF12345Pred 5 urami
  • 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 BodyNo BodyPred 5 urami
  • 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...

    No BodyNo BodyPred 6 urami
  • 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.

    HollywoodF1HollywoodF1Pred 6 urami
  • I am using this video in my exam answer and crediting you along. Its an handwritten exam so cannot provide direct hyperlink.

    Shr SriShr SriPred 6 urami
  • 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)

    dreamcrafter888dreamcrafter888Pred 7 urami
  • 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).

    adventus saxonumadventus saxonumPred 7 urami
  • So this is why willy wonka never released the everlasting gobstopper :(

    Emik ZoticEmik ZoticPred 8 urami
  • 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.

    Dennison JDennison JPred 9 urami
  • So this is why you can't take batteries out of phones

    Guess my nameGuess my namePred 9 urami
  • Legend says when the buld turns off the world is gonna end .

    Merwyn SoaresMerwyn SoaresPred 9 urami
  • Yo is that Alec Guinness

    JonathanJonathanPred 10 urami
  • 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..

    r3con woor3con wooPred 11 urami
  • I get why things, especially things which need technology, need replaced now & then. What I'd really like to see is these companies who make things run out/ expire put the old items to good use by recycling them, because the world has only so much stuff to use before it runs out.

    Elaine BElaine BPred 11 urami
  • This channel is dumb.. all conspiracy theories are fake

    KifterKifterPred 12 urami
  • When the title of video changes when you are halfway through it

    Lucky MaheshwariLucky MaheshwariPred 13 urami
  • This sort of collusion still occurs in other industries as well, and just lends itself to the argument that certain services or products we're better off receiving from the government than private industry. One of the deadliest examples I can think of is insulin. The companies that have the right to produce it collude unspoken. When one company raises the price, the others follow suit. Over the years, the price of this lifesaving drug continues to rise, and all three companies continue to track very closely with one another as far as price goes. It's a lesson all well-meaning researchers have to take to heart. Insulin wasn't discovered by R&D teams working for some biotech company, it was found by a pair of guys. They turned over the rights to it for a pittance ($1), because they understood it was a life-saving drug that needed to be made accessible. Unfortunately, the rights ended up in the hands of some very dishonorable people. At the risk of making this political (and maybe it should be)... Remember, the next time you see Joe Manchin voting against the public interest, his daughter is one of those jerkoffs that are responsible for raising the price of insulin.

    Don bDon bPred 14 urami
  • A company that made their product worse so they could sell more of it... Never heard of it

    CodexCTCodexCTPred 14 urami
  • We should be ENCOURAGED to buy a new product because someone has made a better one. Not FORCED to buy a new product because the one we have has been designed by the manufacturer to become obsolete.

    Djinn-1Djinn-1Pred 14 urami
  • hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, almost like capitalism.............. _bad_ ................................

    Milo SzecketMilo SzecketPred 14 urami
  • I do feel like you forgot to mention that little things like security make planned obsolesce kinda pointless in tech. Everything gets hacked. Building a new one is normally easier than fixing the current bad design.

    Cody KochmannCody KochmannPred 15 urami
  • Think about the amount of waste in our landfills generated by these decisions.

    Jake SengeleJake SengelePred 15 urami
  • Planned obsolescence is good for profits, but will be our undoing as a species from destroying the environment. Perhaps we desire our own obsolescence, and try to plan for it.

    beverinsbeverinsPred 15 urami
  • I have been using the same two hammers for over 40 years. Estwing. I think I paid $12 each. I see they sell for over $60 each now.

    Gary GGary GPred 15 urami
  • * Doesn't everyone know about das intentional substandard manufacturing of incandescent light-bulbs? We learned of this specific "Planned Obsolescence" in Secondary School World History...I'm now 33. * No, I will never purchase any American Apple products, especially NOT their iPhone...No one I know uses them. * Das "Right to Repair" seems a good idea. :-)

    Ivanka Leonie FuchsIvanka Leonie FuchsPred 15 urami
  • wtf u saying? its not iphone its android!!!

    Krapula KanavaKrapula KanavaPred 16 urami
  • Yeah I have a slight neurological problem and I want to break that light bulb 😒

    ChristianMafiaChristianMafiaPred 16 urami
  • Planned obsolescence is old news and is no secret. It's our apathy towards power that is the real story.

    hal900xhal900xPred 16 urami
  • Hot take, what if.. what if! The world wasn't run solely off of currency?

    Gabe JohnsonGabe JohnsonPred 16 urami
  • You know what could counter these things, is posting their blueprints in the internet. Let's try creating our own so their markets go obsolete instead lol.

    kinsbeanskinsbeansPred 16 urami
  • This 1900s bulb has probably 5% efficiency but yeah, it lasted 100 years wasting energy.

    Antonio FdezAntonio FdezPred 16 urami
  • LEDs do not last 10-50 years. I’ve had to replace so many LED bulbs it feels like they have shorter lifespan then regular incandescent bulbs.

    Ha1fbakedgolemHa1fbakedgolemPred 17 urami
  • Seem most of the light bulbs these days "Flicker" Why is that? Does no one remember the term "flicker rate" & the scientific mind control experiments from the 1960's? The world is upside down folks.

    James ShevninJames ShevninPred 17 urami
  • LED bulbs last like any other. They promise thousands of hours but then they break anyway.

    MassimoSlstrMassimoSlstrPred 17 urami
  • It would be useful to mention that the incandescent bulbs were replaced with leds due to government mandate rather tham corporations competing in a free market

    303ks303ksPred 17 urami
  • I am just wondering how they make iPhone Screen. So if it falls from any height the screen will crack. That requires high tech, really it is not easy to make it 😂😲

    Francium WaveFrancium WavePred 17 urami
  • "if a rape whistle worked it would put itself out of business"

    koopk1koopk1Pred 17 urami
  • false the led are designed to fail too

    njs2njs2Pred 18 urami
  • It's almost like meet the robinsons difference between eutopia and dystopia

    Collin PCollin PPred 18 urami
  • In Germany we say "Sollbruchstelle"

    Theo H.Theo H.Pred 18 urami
  • This was an eye opening..

    dope devildope devilPred 18 urami
  • Not being cynical, but can they prove that the bulb at the fire station was on continuously for 120 years? The bulb is in a very exposed position, and everyone from 120 years ago is dead !

    P KellyP KellyPred 19 urami
  • LEDs and fluorescent lights: is the light quality the same as incandescents? What light is more relaxing? Why don't we light fancy restaurants with fluorescent or LED bulbs? Why don't we blast LED and fluorescent bulbs at the acupuncture clinic?

    Milosh RodicMilosh RodicPred 20 urami
  • But they don't mind replacing jobs with robots and self checkouts actively removing jobs!!!

    Rob GableRob GablePred 20 urami
  • And one guy sits on a pile of gold laughing at all of us for falling for it!!!!

    Rob GableRob GablePred 20 urami
  • The corporate overlords creating monopolies to screw the people all day long forever!!! The whole world is built on Scams and greed.

    Rob GableRob GablePred 20 urami
  • Activision did it with call of duty years ago

    My guy I don't careMy guy I don't carePred 20 urami
  • 15:53 "So we finally reached the point of what is essentially an everlasting light bulb"... Have we really? The Chinese LED's I buy have a shorter life span than my old incandescent light bulbs.

    JerrySJerrySPred 20 urami
  • If there is a god. He was the first. Human life... Apple's defense.... We learned it from god

    HigaugeHigaugePred 20 urami
  • stfu dude

    Prakhar ShuklaPrakhar ShuklaPred 21 uro
  • I suspect the move to make cellular phones with non-serviceable batteries was more of a national security measure. Terrorists cannot turn off a phone with a fixed battery, it remains in a standby status and can continue to communicate with local towers and establish triangulation, and thus location.

    VloogleVlooglePred 21 uro
  • Planned obselonce is when a SLworlds review a new gadget .. which is no different than previous iteration .. yet calls it the best new device .. and the cycle keeps going

    Ahmad KmailAhmad KmailPred 21 uro
  • Amazing episode 👌😎

    marsgizmomarsgizmoPred 21 uro
    • Oh hey love your videos

      ThatManIsLaGOATThatManIsLaGOATPred 12 urami
  • taylor swift did this in a song and shorter

    Agnirudra ChatterjeeAgnirudra ChatterjeePred 21 uro
  • I've had to replace two LED light bulbs in the last 6 months that were less than 3 years old. I think they have planned manufacturing inefficiencies.

    Cyberdyne Systems: SkynetCyberdyne Systems: SkynetPred 22 urami
  • My video shows a poop on his head at 14:24. Is that actually true?

    Jamil FerojJamil FerojPred 22 urami
  • The Government destroyed the twin towers.

    Che GentleChe GentlePred 22 urami
  • It's all good as long as the LED lamps don`t have a self destruct button, than we ae back square one again.

    knaptonmawsonknaptonmawsonPred 22 urami
  • Why our light buld lasted 2-10 years?

    boom 350boom 350Pred 22 urami
  • Bastasrds love to make our life's harder for profit.

    1990skelly1990skellyPred 22 urami
  • My most recent experience with planned obsolescence: I had to replace those little plastic corners outside of a window, they hold a framed mosquito net. They just broke off. And I thought to myself - "Why they didn't make everything that they make out of plastic in steel? That way one set of objects will last a generation and you will never need to buy a certain object, moreover - you could easily melt old objects and create new." And then it clicked - money.

    WiseWizardWiseWizardPred 22 urami
  • capitalism sucks

    Jen McConnellJen McConnellPred 22 urami
  • I blame society on it, it is the fault of capitalism. Our doings are a waste of resources, that will bite our back as soon as we run out of oil.

    Adrian LucasAdrian LucasPred 23 urami
  • To those who say planned obsolescence is a good thing, think about what else you could have spent with the money you used to replace your old item. And the number of jobs and new lines of industries that could have been created with each incremental addition of new funds towards it and away from everything else. Sure, some will lose their jobs but this is a fact of life. This is the cost of innovation. After all, nobody complains about how the advent of calculators or computers displaced so many abacus wood-making jobs. Why would newer, longer-lasting light bulbs be any different?

    Xeneon341Xeneon341Pred 23 urami
  • Capitalism at it finest.

    Gon KongGon KongPred 23 urami
  • How much are consumers willing to pay to keep the light bulb companies capable of paying their employees, make a happy profit, push their R and D, comply woth all safety laws.... Answer: far much higher than the current prices

    machazthe gamermachazthe gamerPred 23 urami
  • The most evil thing ever created- the one thing that has caused more death, suffering, and destruction than any other by far- the almighty, all consuming, pursuit of money. It totally hijacks and ruins endeavors like trying to educate ppl or heal the sick- these are institutions that have their purpose already built in from the start- the main purpose of medicine is to heal, the main purpose of education is to educate- right? Nope- not in this country, the main purpose of any hospital or college is to make more profits, more money- above everything else, including educating or healing the sick. It leads to unbelievably stupid and unproductive practices like planned obsolescence and the subprime loan market- which in turn lead to suffering in ppl's lives. But no one cares because everyone is too busy, too distracted, it's easier to just punch your card and play the game- like a good slave- so that's what the majority of us do. Most pl have no idea why the dollar is worth a buck anyway- it's because it will buy one dollar's worth of sweet oil from the exchange which only accepts US dollars. that's right- every country on earth has to buy US currency in order to purchase oil from the exchange, it's the only currency accepted- and the United States enforces that with force when necessary. Why? Because the day other currencies are accepted the US dollar is worthless- it's a fiat currency that's only backed by ppl's confidence that it will continue to be the only currency accepted and therefore remain valuable. Think about that- this means the day the world no longer needs or uses oil- the US dollar is worthless. This is why it's so often called the "petrol dollar". On top of that, every dollar created is created with interest attached- which means there can never be enough money in circulation to pay off all debts- simply not enough money to do it. There's always more debt than there is dollars- which means anytime the music stops and everyone has to sit down- someone is gonna be left without a chair. That's right- the game is rigged, there has to be a loser- it's built into the system. Whoever it ends up being we'll all point our fingers at them and say they were lazy and label them the "loser"- but the reality is it had to be someone, could of been you just as easily as it was them.

    Stoney's DeadStoney's DeadPred dnevom
  • Printers. The worst culprit in my opinion

    Gideon StowellGideon StowellPred dnevom
  • remember this when ordering something with amazon prime. the coffee machine that is delivered 2 days earlier than with regular shipping will presumably break 2 days earlier.

    Marcitus TangensMarcitus TangensPred dnevom
  • capitalism breeds innovation

    Ma ksMa ksPred dnevom
    • @Adrian Lucas did you watch the video???

      Ma ksMa ksPred 22 urami
    • Competition breeds innovation but not capitalism

      Adrian LucasAdrian LucasPred 22 urami
  • If companies went bankrupted, they won't invent better products. So let them steel unless it's too bad. But they have to make profit, otherwise they will not have a motive to make more advanced and functional products for future.

    Omar YassinOmar YassinPred dnevom
  • Very interesting topic, planned obsolescence + cartels. Sticking to the beginning of light bulbs, people previously used candles, oil or natural gas to add light where needed but are all stinky and sooty. Not to mention dangerous. They made or bought candles using animal fat/oil or beeswax and once used they were gone. Along comes electric lights and wow what an improvement. Fast forward to LED lights wow I can’t imagine being stuck using that old lamp from Edison’s days until now. Old technology has its place and still exists in hand tools and porch swings for instance. But we are going through resources like rare metals and oil for plastic faster than killing sperm whales for lamp oil. I don’t know the answer for this. Thanks for this video.

    trep53trep53Pred dnevom
  • I recommend investigating the Dubai LED light. It seems most LED lights are overdriven which shortens their LE. The tradition continues!

    Brian LewisBrian LewisPred dnevom
  • LED bulbs CAN last forever, but many have not, and many more will not ...

    MrSummitvilleMrSummitvillePred dnevom
  • I've had plenty of LED bulbs that never made it through 6 months. At a cost of 10 times the incandescent bulb.

    Northern Fox TravelerNorthern Fox TravelerPred dnevom
  • Ok, great video. Except, I hope that ending was meant to be sarcastic - sounded sincere.

    jason sjason sPred dnevom