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

Ladda ner



  • I'd love to see you do a video on the fire-based "pancake theory" that brought down WTC buildings 1,2 and 7.

    socaliguy81socaliguy8121 minut sedan
  • LED from the bigger companies are emitting significantly less light within a year. Or the electronic breaks. They are not stopping there.

    liljo68liljo6825 minuter sedan
  • Who can believe someone who wears 2 masks or take seriously ?

    Pasquale GelardiPasquale Gelardi55 minuter sedan
  • Same thing applies to Cars, cellphones etc etc. The plan is to make them last about a few years before breaking down, this way they can make money selling new products or selling spare parts.

    Jesus BlasterJesus BlasterTimme sedan
  • 9:00-9:30 soo my late model car would get destroyed during covid19 because of mass unemployment? That thought process is enough to make anyone go libertarian.

    Marilyn MonbroMarilyn MonbroTimme sedan
  • capitalism ruins everything

    GPGPTimme sedan
  • No Nikola Tesla love?

    Joe JoyceJoe JoyceTimme sedan
  • one failure.. edison didnt invet the lightbulb.,.. he just improved earlier the graphic shouldnt realy start with him at zero^^

    Technokrat JTechnokrat JTimme sedan
  • I think in the face of climate change, planned obsolescence should be gotten rid of, and if it means less work to go around, we should have more governmental support of the citizenry. It's obvious. No More whatever name.

    shawn6669shawn6669Timme sedan
  • Tiktok conspiracies are just straight up stupid

    HX3_EnFr HdelHX3_EnFr HdelTimme sedan
  • The man in the white coat stars the great Alec Guinness btw.

    Bender9000Bender9000Timme sedan
  • You know this is about to be expanded today to our money. Digitals could easily have a life forcing the holder to spend

    dc oczdc ocz2 timmar sedan
  • Cool

    Big City PropertyBig City Property2 timmar sedan
  • Great work!

    FazoerFazoer2 timmar sedan
  • Capitalism seems to be the root of the problem

    Jack HJack H3 timmar sedan
  • sadly LED lightbulbs can and will fail. Not necessarily LED itself but driver circuit. Problem is in order to cut costs, multiple LEDs are connected together and supported by single driver. As no single LED is identical to each other, some LEDs from one circuit will draw more current than others and wear increasingly more and more over time. After one circuit fails, other circuits will receive more current and whole thing will colapse in cascade fashion.

    Robert KowalskiRobert Kowalski3 timmar sedan
  • Covid 19 is too good. look how many people it put out of work !

    Joyce De WittJoyce De Witt5 timmar sedan
  • feels worsse now with printers

    Till MartensTill Martens6 timmar sedan
  • I can't watch this. It boils my blood knowing people purposely make things trash so they can get more money.

    HauntedHaunted6 timmar sedan
  • "There is no best. Only diffrent " things you can say in a capitalist society.

    rohit jainrohit jain6 timmar sedan
  • Look up the "Dubai Lamp" and you'll find that planned obsolescence is still very much in play when it comes to bulbs!

    DraxelDraxel6 timmar sedan
  • But making one 5000 hour light costs a bit more but surely less than making 10 x 500 lights? And you can charge more for it

    White ShadowWhite Shadow7 timmar sedan
  • ah yes my old ipad mini 1... almost nothing is supported anymore just good for books and music

    BryceBryce7 timmar sedan
  • My phone is from 2013 and my laptop is from 2011 and they both work fine and I’m not going to replace them until they are properly broken and unfixable. I also haven’t bought any clothes the past two years. It’s not just about the money, it’s also about the environment. This video is golden.

    BeanieBeanie8 timmar sedan
  • This is scummy

    DuronDuron8 timmar sedan
  • I wish I could like this video 5 times at least 👌🏻❤️🤘🏻

    Alireza NAlireza N8 timmar sedan
  • This might be true, if it weren't for electrolytic capacitors. Because of those capacitors (which virtually every LED bulb has), LED bulbs wear out when they're hot. Most settings don't provide sufficient airflow to keep the bulbs cool, especially in downlight applications. The thermal requirements for LED bulbs is exactly the opposite of incandescent bulbs: while incandescents should run hot, LED bulbs should be kept cool.

    Zeke RandolphZeke Randolph10 timmar sedan
  • Wuld be great if things like cars culd be build to last forever for the price you have to pay nowadays

    Lord Gammadon KaargonLord Gammadon Kaargon10 timmar sedan
  • No one seems to care about the harmful effects that it does on the environment. Simply a shame. Cause today we can't pretend to ignore the environmental threat hanging over our heads.

    Laetitia coLaetitia co11 timmar sedan
  • If I recall correctly, this is the very reason why Americans internet is significantly slower then certain other countries

    Michael GMichael G11 timmar sedan
  • Corporate capitalism is the real conspiracy. 👌🏻

    SlugbunnySlugbunny12 timmar sedan
  • Planned obsolescence feels like it fails to take into account 1 golden rule in any field dealing with people. You can't please everybody.

    EpsilonKnightEpsilonKnight13 timmar sedan
  • Woah.. mind boggling.

    sUper NovasUper Nova13 timmar sedan
  • sadly led bulbs also have planned obsolescence builtin =/ overdriving the hardware so it fails earlier

    fredlllllfredlllll14 timmar sedan
  • High-end Graphic card will become Low-end product after 5 years

    JenovaJenova14 timmar sedan
  • This feels like a conspiracy theory that is actually not a conspiracy theory.

    Harshavardhan VHarshavardhan V14 timmar sedan
  • apple just reveal a new iMac and guess what, it comes with something new....... different colors

    cristhyan guillermocristhyan guillermo14 timmar sedan
  • I try to make my own stuff when i can it last way longer..

    PsychoPatPsychoPat14 timmar sedan
  • When science meets commercial greed, its no doubt who wins. Tis a shame

    Van OwenVan Owen15 timmar sedan
  • Private Central Banking, fiat currency and fractional reserve lending is the greatest open conspiracy that has enslaved humanity and is the financial driver behind the destruction of Earth.

    Jason RosenbergJason Rosenberg15 timmar sedan
  • Phoebus Cartel. "Businessmen in the same trade rarely meet, but when they do, it always results in a conspiracy against the public." - Thomas Jefferson

    Brian KleinschmidtBrian Kleinschmidt15 timmar sedan
  • We should all start a class action lawsuit against EVERY company that does this. Charge me more for something that lasts. But nickel and dime me for your crap ? F off corporations

    ipKonfig.comipKonfig.com16 timmar sedan
  • So you’re saying boycott every company

    TerelTerel16 timmar sedan
  • Obsolescence will finally make the planet obsolete

    Emthesage EMMEmthesage EMM16 timmar sedan
  • "you're more likely to sell your house than replace an LED bulb that you've installed inside it..." I wish this were accurate. But as the likes of the youtube channel Big Clive have proven, it is just as easy to implement planned obsolescence on LED bulbs as it is to on incandescent bulbs. There may well be LED light fixtures that are longer lasting that traditional bulbs, but I doubt the cheap LED bulbs you get at the supermarket are it.

    Lachlan GilbertLachlan Gilbert16 timmar sedan
  • I.watched this twice

    ez icarusez icarus16 timmar sedan
  • Jokes on them ..i still use wood fire at night.

    Mohsin ShaikhMohsin Shaikh16 timmar sedan
  • LED's are the first big improvement in a basic product without a lot of added expense in quite a long time.

    orange70383orange7038317 timmar sedan
  • Imagine other conspiracy theories turning out to be true. Like the one about some of our brethren never taking their skin suits off. Wacky to think about.

    Red TrekRed Trek17 timmar sedan
  • The manual transmission in my 1988 Ford Ranger had 3 rubber plugs near the top of the 5 speed manual transmission. It wasn't for machining, the only reason we can come up with for the rubber plugs in these transmissions is that after 100K miles of heat cycles the rubber plugs get dry and crack and leak, allowing the transmission fluid to slowly leak out. You don't monitor the fluid of a manual transmission the same way you do an automatic nor do they leak the same way. In this case there was never a puddle or a drip, it just slowly vaporized as the truck is driven. If you check under the truck you might notice an oil film but not find a leak. This let the oil get low which damaged the bearings, made third gear loud and made it difficult to put it in reverse after a long drive and the transmission was allowed to cool with it left in first gear. They put an expiration date in the transmission.

    Glen WaldropGlen Waldrop17 timmar sedan
  • Obi Wan Kenobi invented the perfect fiber!!

    Glen WaldropGlen Waldrop17 timmar sedan
  • Same thing with car tyres

    CBD Review UKCBD Review UK17 timmar sedan
  • My first LED bulb lasted 8 years. Subsequently, the likes of Philips get into the fray of LEDs. Theirs last, on average just 2 years. My first LED bulb lasted 3 times that of Philips.

    Terence WongTerence Wong17 timmar sedan
  • Light bulbs lasted practically forever before the assistant made a new filiment, so I refuse to say he's the creator of the light bulb

    zach Heckartzach Heckart17 timmar sedan
  • Car seat expiration dates in a nut shell

    berbandisberbandis18 timmar sedan
  • Oh boy do I love capitalism, it’s totally not actually destroying the world and killing millions :)

    Stacc YeoStacc Yeo19 timmar sedan
  • I bet someone suspected that lightbulb life decreased but people told the person he/she was crazy

    John SmytheJohn Smythe19 timmar sedan
  • Its a nice thought on LEDs, until manufacturers have started to make components inside them weaker so they now fail in 2000 to 3000 hours in some brands, and even faster in others. So greedy corportaions are up to their same old wasteful, evil tricks.

    NordoCelticNordoCeltic20 timmar sedan
  • 10:40 Workers and scientists should've unite against factory owners, now that would be a much better movie (☭ ͜ʖ ☭)

    Rest in peaceRest in peace20 timmar sedan
  • Samsung is very good at planned obsolescence

    AmmeAmme20 timmar sedan
  • Funny that design a phone to make others feel out dated is a thing, because the only thing I want in a phone is a earphone-jack witch is an old design

    DJpuggsDJpuggs21 timme sedan
  • 3.7k thumbs down are Apple shareholders.

    Mitch SpurlockMitch Spurlock21 timme sedan
  • Excellent video!

    Norberto TopeteNorberto Topete21 timme sedan
  • And that my friends is why our future is fucked and we deserve it

    Ajitesh Singh ThakurAjitesh Singh Thakur21 timme sedan
  • Volvo ...

    Anto NozaAnto Noza21 timme sedan
  • I'm pretty sure tech company did this. They have to keep one up'ing themselves every year for their new released product. I'm sure they can just throw their latest technology all at once, but they only did it slowly so costumer kept buying the newer product.

    The TruthThe Truth21 timme sedan
  • That was very good, thank you

    AdhemAdhem21 timme sedan
  • real conspiracies are so pervasive in our society that we never question its legitimacy

    No BoNo Bo21 timme sedan
  • Naw! Most stuff breaks because, it's complex and people are clumsy. Also, complication to components due to overheating or environmental related damage. The rest is genuine technological obsolescence that is constantly improving. There is a techno race to creating durable tech to send probes to Venus long term. I'm waiting for that. I have a WD 1 TB External Harddrive that I have been using consistently ever since 2008. I never dropped it and take great care of it. It has actually outlived several of my laptops too. Just had to switch out the AC Adapter and USB Cord. I even have a working iPod Video 80GB that I've had ever since 2006, I even have a very early V-Mem port PS1 Console that still works too. These are pretty simple built electronics. The reason they've lasted very long. This thin new crap is what I end up having fail on me after a couple years. Tablets, Laptops and other solid state stuff fails in just a couple years. Go hard. There's a reason the hard electronics with moving parts last 40 years and have the potential of lasting 100 years. I read from old-school tech enthusiasts on reddit that Western Digital lasts the longest in response to several cases of Harddrives lasting for decades. I think Controlled Obsolescence is mostly a myth after learning about tech based on old stuff built to still last in the 21st Century and remembering people saying they make cheap crap that breaks in a couple years ever since the Early 2000's. It's not entirely true if you know what to buy.

    Corey MCorey M22 timmar sedan
    • That's very true. Plenty of devices and tools failing can actually be traced to misuse, general wear and tear or even engineering problems that are solved in later years. Obviously that isn't to say that planned obsolescence doesn't happen (iphones for example) but it may honestly be to a lesser degree than many perceive.

      EpsilonKnightEpsilonKnight12 timmar sedan
  • That's cool, great episode! However none of the commercially available led light bulbs lasts near to what it is declared to.

    Mr.BoMr.Bo22 timmar sedan
  • After all we have heard of their policy of built in obsolescence I still find it hard to believe that sane working people would ever buy an apple product.

    SocairnoneSocairnone22 timmar sedan
  • Very splendid and candid reveal about planned obsolescence.

    765kvline765kvline22 timmar sedan
  • If we had Universal Basic Income and equitably distributed wealth (rather than allowing it to be accumulated into fewer and fewer hands at the top who ultimately come to 'own' everything), then having products that last much longer, even indefinitely wouldn't be a problem. We as a society could use our time and resources in better ways to improve humanity, rather than constantly chasing our own tails.

    EmeraldViewEmeraldView23 timmar sedan
  • The led bulb has a capacitor that makes it to burn faster, and if you change it for a lower value it will last for a long time!

    WebBinaryWebBinary23 timmar sedan
  • Lightbulb cartels

    Fat MunchFat Munch23 timmar sedan
  • Great episode!! 🥰 Right to repair is absolutely essential for the environment AND is a basic-adjacent human right.

    Gio MagGio Mag23 timmar sedan
  • So, this is a ripoff of the documentary "Kaufen für die Müllhalde: Geplante Obsoleszenz"

    Sven Nguyen VanSven Nguyen VanDag sedan
  • What about the everlasting gobstopper?

    JameR GameR007JameR GameR007Dag sedan
  • Planned obsolescence, Sony has been secretly doing to the PS3, PS4, and PS5.

    JameR GameR007JameR GameR007Dag sedan
  • It's amazing the similarity of cadence with Tom Scott

    Georg MGeorg MDag sedan
  • Anyone here with the iPhone 14?

    Westwood PresnallWestwood PresnallDag sedan
  • I try not to buy products that are known to use planned obsolescence. They are greedy sh*tholes, plain and simple. Anyone who thinks different has their hand in the corprations pocket in some way.

    Mr. BerardineMr. BerardineDag sedan
  • I have bought an iPhone once. I was very glad with it until it broke shortly after warranty (of course). I will never buy an Apple device again.

    Tech GuyTech GuyDag sedan
  • Wait... I just realized, Veritasium is an element of truth, cause it comes from whatever the root for truth was, I know in French truth is ‘verité’. That’s crazy, flew over my head this whole time.

    Humzah KhanHumzah KhanDag sedan
  • I have, rather unfortunately, had to replace several LED bulbs that I've installed. The LEDs may last forever, but the supporting electronics in some of the cheaper bulbs are not fond of power that isn't perfectly clean. (And I mean "perfectly clean" in the electrical engineering sense, not the green energy sense.)

    Ben CushwaBen CushwaDag sedan
  • +1 Subscriber :)

    Vigneshwaran MurugesanVigneshwaran MurugesanDag sedan
  • Wondering how SEslow yet didn't remove this video. (Y)

    Vigneshwaran MurugesanVigneshwaran MurugesanDag sedan
  • Damn ths video is about 17 minutes long but it feels like 1 hour

    Eric BorbEric BorbDag sedan
  • dang casey neistat used to be a good guy

    Maxamillion JazzhandsMaxamillion JazzhandsDag sedan
  • If everyone had enough money, maybe mandatory obsolescence wouldn't be a problem 🤷‍♂️

    Adalberto RuizAdalberto RuizDag sedan
  • I have 5 printers and a flat scanner - ALL refuse to work anymore, & I can't for the life of me figure out why! I've always suspected that they were built to fail.

    Trevor GrindzTrevor GrindzDag sedan
  • As always, greed has the upper hand Disgusting

    LaserDiscLaserDiscDag sedan
  • even the LED bulbs are built to fail however there is an LED bulb you can only buy in Dubai (the Dubai Bulb by Phillips) that has a greatly increased lifespan

    ME DibbleME DibbleDag sedan
  • any tremendous change happening in the 20th century world war 2 comes and tears it apart

    Satwik BoinaSatwik BoinaDag sedan
  • You can apply this to almost anything, like medicine.

    yodogyodogDag sedan
  • LED = Everlasting lightbulbs? No way… Yes, I have a few Toshiba LEDs and an early Bosch one that are still operating just fine. Anything I bought later needs to be replaced after a few years.

    kbussekbusseDag sedan
  • There's this quote (can't recall where from) that immediately comes to mind: "Greedy bastards".

    zoladkowzoladkowDag sedan
    • Don't those "greedy bastards" hire millions of people?

      TheLovelyPotatoTheLovelyPotato14 timmar sedan
  • Nice remake of my favourite film "The light bulb conspiracy". And... No, LED bulbs are not for ever, either.

    Valentin TomovValentin TomovDag sedan
  • Fabulous upload, great investigative work. I've watched a few of your videos before and this one was my favourite, brilliant 👌

    Ty LoweTy LoweDag sedan
  • thats why spark plug this day has a resistor.

    Macgyver SirumaMacgyver SirumaDag sedan