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.

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