Thursday, December 15, 2011

The 11 Year Light Bulb

Philips deserves a lot of credit. I needed to buy some light bulbs last night and the package for the Philips EnergySaver light bulb states that it will last 11 years. That is not a typo. Take a moment to think about 11 years. 11 years ago, the Supreme Court made its decision on Bush vs. Gore. 11 years ago, Mario Lemieux was about to make his NHL comeback. 11 years ago, Justin Bieber was 6 years old (yes, I looked this up). 11 years from now, my child will be in junior high/middle school. The 2022 Winter Olympics will take place 11 years from now, though the winning bid won’t be announced for another four years. 11 years from now, I’ll have even less hair. (Of course, I’ll probably have less hair 11 days from now!)

Back to the light bulb. Naturally, I bought the Philips bulb partially because of the “lasts 11 years” claim. It was a difficult process removing the light fixture where the bulb went out, so I don’t want to repeat the process anytime this decade. Let’s take a look at the 11-year claim and limited warranty for this bulb:

Based on a reasonable household usage, when used in accordance with package and bulb directions, if this bulb does not last for 11 years (based on approximately 3 hours average usage per day/7 days per week). Philips will send you a replacement bulb upon receipt of the returned bulb, register receipt, and proof of purchase.

Let’s say that you light bulb lasts 9 years. Who still keeps a $3 or $4 receipt as well as proof of purchase for 9 years? Even if you do manage to keep this, how would you find it? Wouldn’t it just be buried in a box never to be seen again? How do you prove that you did not exceed the reasonable household usage? I don’t think Philips will need to provide many replacement bulbs.

Well done, Philips. Well done!

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