For 90 years, lightbulbs were designed to burn out. Now that’s coming to LEDs. / Boing Boing

In 1924, representatives of the world’s leading lightbulb manufacturers formed Phoebus, a cartel that fixed the average life of an incandescent bulb at 1,000 hours, ensuring that people would have to regularly buy bulbs and keep the manufacturers in business.

But hardware store LED bulbs have a typical duty-cycle of 25,000 hours — meaning that the average American household will only have to buy new bulbs ever 42 years or so.

The lighting industry is panicked about “socket saturation,” when all household bulbs have been replaced with long-lasting LED bulbs. There’s signs that they’re moving to limit the longevity of LED bulbs, albeit without the grossly illegal cartels of the Phoebus era.

Read more: For 90 years, lightbulbs were designed to burn out. Now that’s coming to LED bulbs. / Boing Boing

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Mike Rawson

Mike Rawson has recently re-awoken a long-standing interest in robots and our automated future. He lives in London with a single android - a temperamental vacuum cleaner - but is looking forward to getting more cyborgs soon.

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For 90 years, lightbulbs were designed to burn out. Now that’s c…

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