Let there be light

A light bulb. That’s all the stupid thing needs.

And yet, we’re going to have to throw it away because the fine folks at Target sold us a lamp with a permanently fused LED that can’t be separated and replaced. It is the most ridiculous display of planned obsolescence I’ve seen in a good long while.

For a couple who takes pride in doing our own repairs and avoiding waste, it’s a slap in the face.

Once upon a time, goods were designed for longevity and reliability. But in 1954, an American industrial engineer by the name of Brooks Stevens encouraged the idea of planned obsolescence to instill in the consumer a “desire to own something a little newer, a little better, a little sooner than is necessary.”

Case in point: My parents bought a Frigidaire shortly after my sister’s birth in the 1950s, and it was still a working fixture in our kitchen after I graduated from college in the ’90s. Now you’ll be lucky if a refrigerator gets you through the entire run of “Game of Thrones.” And when it goes, winter had better be coming, or you can say goodbye to those melting pints of Ben and Jerry’s you stocked up on last week.

Brad searched to the end of the internet for a replacement bulb or repair hack, but the manufacturer failed to put any kind of identifying number on any of the parts. No doubt, intentional, so buying a whole new unit is the only option.

You may have won the battle, Target, but you’re not winning the war. All you’ve done is remind me to stick with antique, better-quality goods that can be maintained and enjoyed for years to come.

Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to pause for a moment to mourn the passing of our little Luxo. In the dark, of course.

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