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

वीडियो डाउनलोड करें



  • I have had several LED bulbs quit working. I suspect that they use inferior capacitors and then seal the bulbs so you can't get into them. Especially as LEDs do not need a vacuum.

    David AllenDavid Allen2 घंटे पहले
  • Funny how apple and android my operating system updates that sabotage the phone so you have to buy a new phone

    Jeff GarbarekJeff Garbarek2 घंटे पहले
  • Right to repair should be a must

    Rajeev JunejaRajeev Juneja4 घंटे पहले
  • It’s frustrating that people’s livelihoods depend on the fate of these companies. I’m not even trying to be political it’s just sad that someone’s survival depends on whether a company can sell more sub par products. I don’t know what the answer is though.

    npnp5 घंटे पहले

    F-35A Lightning IIF-35A Lightning II5 घंटे पहले
  • Its an urban myth that the Ford Model T was only available in black.

    Titch MoynihanTitch Moynihan6 घंटे पहले
  • My asics running shoes falling apart after 3 months. And I don't run a lot.

    nelsonnelson6 घंटे पहले
  • Yesterday, I found four garbage bags of laundered clothing that fit me in our recycle room, hence, I don't buy clothing. Two days ago, I found 50 grapefruit that had marginal rotting that left the pulp unaffected, I froze 30 of them and will make quinine from boiling the peels, and thus prevent covid. You'd think women would love me for being environmentally sensitive and sustainable, what with all my good habits. Well over half of what I own I found in the dumpster. Come on, ladies, here I am, the man of the future.

    blackjack rewardblackjack reward7 घंटे पहले
  • Imagine buying a iPhone more than once lmfao

    CharlieCharlie8 घंटे पहले
  • so you must think the earth is flat if you believe in conspiracy theories!... well thats what people say to me if i question mainstream media! (true story)

    billys bikesbillys bikes9 घंटे पहले
  • Saving this comment to remember myself to check the square-ness of the iPhone 14

    ΤιτάνΤιτάν11 घंटे पहले
  • oh wow .... you should def make more videos about that subject !!! ( like the perfect lexus motor 1UZ from the 90s LS400 ... so good and so reliable is was used in airplanes and boats .... the later 2UZ and 3UZ w. bigger displacements 4.7 and 4.3 liter are in the "same fam" but came w. iron blocks, timing belts and thinner piston walls .... all bits that made them planned obsolescence !!! the orig. 1UZ was perfect and numerous LS400 have run now for over a million miles .... how do i know all that ... well today my LS430 got over 340.000 miles and i wont buy a new car until my LS dies !!

    FRANKO MFRANKO M11 घंटे पहले
  • This dude is killing it! Keep these amazing videos coming!

    Jared StarkJared Stark11 घंटे पहले
  • I swear they do this with tires. Can’t tell me these days we can’t have tires that don’t blow up.

    MissDolittleMissDolittle11 घंटे पहले
  • we can never truly advance as a society under capitalism

    Rena WhitlockRena Whitlock12 घंटे पहले
  • LED's SUCK, it's BLUE light which is bad for your eyes. Enjoy blind suckers!

    Mark LonswayMark Lonsway12 घंटे पहले
  • I dont think there is a better example of this than EA video games. Each year they make the smallest changes and slowly remove features to re-add them in a few years

    SamiMSamiM13 घंटे पहले
  • Thos is just another very big reason capitalism needs to he done away with.

    TrueantitheistTrueantitheist13 घंटे पहले
  • The abashed cockroach ganguly flow because garage tinctorially skip until a friendly architecture. shallow, fluffy earthquake

    Lynne ReedLynne Reed14 घंटे पहले
  • The monopoly is over. Ever heard of LED?

    moody rickmoody rick15 घंटे पहले
  • So you're telling me their power has never gone out?....hmm...🤔

    InsanelyGreat ViralVidsInsanelyGreat ViralVids15 घंटे पहले
  • Awesome

    Shin ChanShin Chan15 घंटे पहले
  • So the Oseram from Horizon are based on a lightbulb company? Dope

    J ParadisJ Paradis16 घंटे पहले
  • Everything comes down to money.

    BoyanAntovBoyanAntov17 घंटे पहले
  • While the LED itself will last other components will break in those.

    IrishWildCardIrishWildCard17 घंटे पहले
  • Off-topic: wow, I thought the actor at 9:50 looked familiar, went to imdb ot check... It turns out his name is Alec Guinness, some 20 years later he played Obi-Wan Kenobi...

    Andrey KhorevAndrey Khorev18 घंटे पहले
  • phones 🤷‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤬🤬🤬

    channelclosingastrollshave followedmeherefromworkchannelclosingastrollshave followedmeherefromwork18 घंटे पहले
  • This is why we can't have nice things Barry, you asshole!

    Dumb PersonDumb Person19 घंटे पहले
  • I love this film I have been making everyone watch it.

    B LB L19 घंटे पहले
  • Only they haven't. The modern LED light bulb that you buy in your local store is designed to fail, the LED in the "bulb" is "overdriven"', too much power is supplied to the LED and it burns out/fails way too soon. I swapped out all the lights in my home for LED lamps and I still carry the same number of "spare bulbs" as when using incandescent bulbs. They may use less power but they still have built in obsolescence. They don't want to sell you "one bulb" that will last a lifetime. They want to keep selling you new bulbs until the day you die😳. I believe that you can buy a "Philips" LED bulb that will last a lifetime but is only available in Dubai, UAE, look it up. It does exist, it's been designed to the specifications laid down by the government. I'd love to get my hands on a set of them for my home👍

    Peter ClarkPeter Clark20 घंटे पहले
  • So, mandatory planned obsolescence gave us the gift that keeps on giving: piles of waste, mostly PVC, that won't ever degrade. Awesome.

    Maja DejanovskaMaja Dejanovska23 घंटे पहले
  • Absolesons=Ps4 controlers

    Mick BoisjoliMick Boisjoliदिन पहले
  • Phones are Soo easy to break and crack these days.🤔

    Live ElLive Elदिन पहले
  • Well a lot of the stuff that I own would have been thrown to the garbage if I didn't fix small defects that they had that would have made them useless. its programmed obsolescence, but I discovered that it can be fixed very easily, I fixed a back pack using a lighter.

    Gecko oGecko oदिन पहले

  • Can we please get a video on lucid dreaming?

    Purvang VasaniPurvang Vasaniदिन पहले

    Mahima ThakurMahima Thakurदिन पहले
  • So are companies that make LED lights now gonna lose money since they won't sell their bulbs often? Will they run into the same issue bulb companies ran into in the 20s?

    bluedance lillybluedance lillyदिन पहले
  • People shouldn't be suprised about this, these are basic principles of capitalism

    Pujo ŠotkaPujo Šotkaदिन पहले
  • This is why my cell phone never gets a protective case. What's the point? Keep it in mint condition until an update deems it obsolete?

    Chief ChimpChief Chimpदिन पहले
  • The LED's in a modern light bulb will last for decades, but the electronics they use to drive the LED's are designed to fail in a couple of years.

    ANonnyMouseANonnyMouseदिन पहले
  • i didnt understand the last part, why did they finally make LED bulbs last so long? Does that not harm their profit?

    Sasuke UchihaSasuke Uchihaदिन पहले
  • 😆😆A land of the free where you don't have the right to repair your own electronic gadgets

  • The limping share ultrasonically snatch because forehead contextually treat absent a wrong paste. psychotic, eminent brace

  • Lmao I just noticed this applies to roads too

    Sofia Isabel LaguaSofia Isabel Lagua2 दिन पहले
  • Pretty misleading stuff in this video... you admit that the only reason the bulb at the fire hall lasts so long is that it's giving off almost no light, but then conveniently forget that tradeoffs exist after that. The average consumer isn't going to fix anything. This is why if you actually know how to fix stuff, you can often find things for sale for 90% off in the classifieds which only need a single several-dollar part changed out to work again. We gave consumers a choice in these things, and every time they chose to have something be 10% cheaper rather than last twice as long, to be 1mm thinner rather than have a case you can open without special tools, etc etc. But people are toddlers who want to have their cake and eat it too, so they invent these conspiracy theories.. It's kind of like how boomers spend decades buying cheap sh*t from china at wal-mart, and now they're blaming some conspiracy for the death of american manufacturing.. like no, you idiots chose this.

    BuscatBuscat2 दिन पहले
  • just about everything is engineered obselecence. beginning with automobiles.

    Frank LucasFrank Lucas2 दिन पहले
  • I think the ecological burden is what bothers me the most. The planet is currently on track to have large parts of the surface become uninhabitable to humans, which will lead to large scale deaths and, just slightly possible, a World War which could wipe out humanity. Anyways, ignoring that part, planned obsolescence contributes to what is either going to be a large number of deaths, or a cleanup job that is impossible to guess the cost of... or both.

    Rob JohnsonRob Johnson2 दिन पहले
  • Imagine apple reacting to this video 😂

    Bhaskar HaldarBhaskar Haldar2 दिन पहले
  • Are we sure the engineers were instructed to actually decrease the quality and not to *decrease the cost of manufacture until a saleable balance between cost and price is found*..! (wait.. I forgot to phrase that in a way that makes companies look evil)

    Thor NielsenThor Nielsen2 दिन पहले
    • @Dynamism what's wrong with it? Why do you want the things people discard when the buy the new shiny thing to be in better condition? If anything, planned obsolescence is what everyone wants, I.e. Things that recycle themselves.

      Thor NielsenThor Nielsenदिन पहले
    • The wording doesn't really matter. What matters is the end goal of planned obsolesce.

      DynamismDynamism2 दिन पहले
  • I binge watch this channel... Its aesthetically pleasing

    Manoj KumarManoj Kumar2 दिन पहले
  • The shut lily substantively kick because santa holly crack toward a defective quit. powerful, belligerent purpose

    Giovanni GenoGiovanni Geno2 दिन पहले
  • Maybe it is time to move beyond capitalism.

    TralfamadorianTralfamadorian2 दिन पहले
  • ah sht that point inthe rabbit hole where every recomendation is derek...(closes window)

    IAmTheOhIAmTheOh2 दिन पहले
  • 15:45 oh this video is for homeowners only. i get it. ( 5.7k people who watched this felt sad and resentful at the end )

    IAmTheOhIAmTheOh2 दिन पहले
  • Those LED break just as about as much and fast as old light bulbs. They can't take power differences in high / lows as well as other issues with electrical wiring can easily break LED that wouldn't break an older bulb.

    Wizard MWizard M2 दिन पहले
  • i have to make everything i do less good too. in order to fit in

    IAmTheOhIAmTheOh2 दिन पहले
  • 3:10 the original 'illuminati'

    IAmTheOhIAmTheOh2 दिन पहले
  • It’s like that with electronics, cell phones and appliances as well as American cars

    Phil HamPhil Ham2 दिन पहले
  • A LED bulb is nowhere near everlasting. There is a step down circuit inside each unit and those components will fail due to the heat that the LEDs produce. Each bulb has a heat sink inside to help dissipate the heat, but the circuit is inside that heated chamber below the LED disc. A 110 ac LED bulb disc gets stepped down to about 50 volts DC depending on wattage.

    Joe YocomJoe Yocom2 दिन पहले
  • This is an excellent video in all but the glorification of LEDs. LEDs themselves are durable, true enough - but the accompanying essential electronics can be (and often are) made very flimsy indeed making the light fail prematurely. Also, LEDs give off light that is poor quality - colour fidelity is subpar, some of them have noticeable flicker and their emission spectra makes them unpredictable for use in cinematography and other media. Finally, LED lights are currently non-recyclable and may contain dangerous substances, as compared to ordinary bulb, which are safe and easy to recycle fully. And on top of all that, there are mounting concerns for LEDs being detrimential to human health in various ways, from disrupting sleep patterns to increased risk of prostate cancer. Please look into LEDs more closely @Veritaserum - they are another subject that is non-trivial and mandates a deeper analysis.

    Jarek BJarek B2 दिन पहले
  • This video is depressing.

    David ChodúrDavid Chodúr2 दिन पहले
  • The iPhone thing is not fair. They make SE phones with old design.

    David ChodúrDavid Chodúr2 दिन पहले
  • Right to repair is only a partial solution. What about all the phone and tablet makers that won't update Android?

    James McCarteJames McCarte3 दिन पहले
  • greed, will imprison us all.

    Wayne WuWayne Wu3 दिन पहले
  • If it has a back up battery and generator it was turned off to install them, right?

    Rafael HulmeRafael Hulme3 दिन पहले
  • so what we learned here is, greed truly is the downfall of mankind

    Ddraig HartDdraig Hart3 दिन पहले
  • here is Australia we still have alot of the push and quarter turn bulbs

    joshua allinsonjoshua allinson3 दिन पहले
  • 14:21 ....Why?

    Semblance Of DisorderSemblance Of Disorder3 दिन पहले
  • All I think about is how much less waste we would have and maybe we would find a work life balance and be more than just our jobs.

    Kristen EstradaKristen Estrada3 दिन पहले
  • Thankfully some companies compete in technological obsolescence instead of planned obsolesences. Which is arguably better.

    ZicoreZicore3 दिन पहले
  • so why u just dont sell an everlasting lightbulb, and do something else after on? Why this Lightbulb struggle....

    Steffen KrägenbringSteffen Krägenbring3 दिन पहले
  • It’s 2021 why are people still spreading that Edison fake news

    j cj c3 दिन पहले
  • Greed... and justice

    egguyegguy4 दिन पहले
  • Something tells me it was General Electric that came up with this idea.

    Erik T.Erik T.4 दिन पहले
  • This is an incredible video with a strong message, and while I don’t want to damper the mood, I can only hope this isn’t the mindset behind cancer research.

    John FJohn F4 दिन पहले
    • Well great strides are being made in recent years in the new state-of-the-art cellular therapies for cancer so I don't think so.

      DD2 दिन पहले
    • That depends on whether you mean the scientists doing the research, or the corporations funding them. It is interesting that products were much more reliable before corporations acquired a virtual monopoly on research. On a related note, why is it that if I invent something as a result of corporate funding, the patent goes to the corporation, not to ME!?!??!?!?!

      James McCarteJames McCarte3 दिन पहले
  • i dont know how you come up with these videos but they are gold... the only one that really makes me mad is that im a car guy and car batteries are the worst with that..

    Chris Craft 2Chris Craft 24 दिन पहले
  • "capitalism breeds innovation"

    Rose HarveyRose Harvey4 दिन पहले
    • And cronie capitalism creates what we have now. Proverbs 22:3

      Gabriel 777Gabriel 7774 दिन पहले
  • @25.oo for one ticket @ million tickets= money money money

    ur22much2ur22much24 दिन पहले
  • This is like my Xbox update, now I have black

  • if people weren't so greedy we would have a lot less trash to pile on landfills

    idkidk4 दिन पहले
  • Lol it's not Doupohntte, it's Dupont.

    Ero-Usagi-SamaEro-Usagi-Sama4 दिन पहले
  • So capitalism?

  • You are smarter than me dude

    Felix Le chatFelix Le chat4 दिन पहले
  • My maytag washing machine broke three months after the warranty expired. My mother's washing machine lasted over twenty years.

    John TaylorJohn Taylor4 दिन पहले
  • 9:49 and kids that’s how PTFE was born :D

    stonefacedmedusastonefacedmedusa4 दिन पहले
  • The thing that kills me about this type of perspective. OK, the corpos are willing to do these kinds things when it comes to light bulbs and pantyhose right? Yet people will argue they couldn't possibly behave this way in regards to oh medicine or automobiles or airplanes...... Just saying.

    mattypow82mattypow824 दिन पहले
  • I'm disappointed this isn't an analysis about Taylor Swift's song but I learnt something very interesting today

    Sarthak KhareSarthak Khare4 दिन पहले
  • Well some of the biggest conmen in history are behind this so no wonder it is getting copied and still used to day.

    Helge JohnsenHelge Johnsen4 दिन पहले
  • I’ve always wondered why Doctors don’t just give ineffective medicine when the illness will not cause death. Turns out some Doctors do, and I’m not sure when it’ll reach medical/pharmaceutical companies soon. Or maybe it has?

    Yor EsYor Es4 दिन पहले
  • Apple and lightbulb makers out here straight robbing their customers. Apple basically calling there customers dumb. 💡 companies would be mad at me cause I barely use light at all.

    Timothy CohenTimothy Cohen5 दिन पहले
  • Ok you make a forever lightbulb and demand goes down. What's better less things to have to throw away this the planet being healthier or money?.... Money obviously

    Timothy CohenTimothy Cohen5 दिन पहले
  • Greed sure is amazing! An even better motivator than pride or envy!

    AкулаAкула5 दिन पहले
  • This is such an important video. Very eye opening

    erinannelieserinannelies5 दिन पहले
  • I wish the statement at the end, that I'd be more likely to sell my house than to replace an LED were true. I've replaced the LED bulbs in my kitchen at least 3 times each (2 different bulbs) in the last 5 years. I have taken voltage and amp readings at the sockets and the wiring and both are within normal limits. Next step is to replace the fixture.

    C & C CardsC & C Cards5 दिन पहले
  • My only issue with LEDs is that... they're TOO bright! this is workable with household lights, as you can find ways to dim them, but with car lights? every time I drive at night now I'm blinded if there's any oncoming traffic. It's ridiculous.

    tylermech66tylermech665 दिन पहले
  • Right to repair is extremely important. If there is one thing you take away from this video, take that.

    12 3412 345 दिन पहले
  • Mandatory planned obsolescence is like having mandatory injections of the corona virus. (Yes, I'm back watching this again two months later.)

    Aubrey BryantAubrey Bryant5 दिन पहले