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Does it make business sense - built to last

  1. Apr 21, 2012 #1
    Dear Forummers

    There are LED light bulbs at a low-enough price . These bulbs can illuminate as brightly as CFL bulbs and consumes even less energy and radiate light in all directions just like CFLs.

    These are said to last 15, 20 years or longer depending on daily usage.

    Now, my question is , Why Would Manufacturers kill their golden goose?

    Get my point?

    If Light bulb manufacturers selling CFLs also manufacture LED bulbs, would this not affect their main revenue generator, the CFLs product line?

    So, why would any money minded , profit oriented corporations want to replace CFLs with LEDs?

    They are selling CFLs and LEDs now. Why?

    If 1 light bulb can last you a lifetime, you are a 1-time customer.

    This is a sin in business 101.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 21, 2012 #2
    Pressure to shift to low energy consumption products?
  4. Apr 21, 2012 #3
    The sin in business is forgetting you have competition. Forget LED light bulbs, TV manufacturers are already perfecting cheap ways of printing OLEDs on anything and instead of just putting out light they can also act as solar cells.
  5. Apr 21, 2012 #4


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    Two reason why a company may not employ planned obsolescence:

    1) Bad PR, another competitor might decide to take you out of the market by selling cheaper, lifelong products. If they do this alongside their other products then they have a chance to keep customers for other purchases. The second company will get quite a lot of good PR by being seen to be a company that cares for their customer's needs rather than their own bottom line (even though that's not entirely true).

    2) Regulation. The same way that the incandescent lightbulb has been in many countries.
  6. Apr 21, 2012 #5


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    And what point is that?
    That manufacturers should market inferior products to unsuspecting and gullable consumers and continue to remain as a viable enterprise? That doesn't follow unless the product is extremely cheap in cost.

    There are many products with a long lifetime and all manufacturers usually offer a wide selection so they can sell to many more consumers due to taste, cost, durability or whatever the consumer will use to rationalize his/her decision to purchase. Offering only one product will limit the potential of a manufacturer to sell to consumers. It is all about market share and you can relate that to the number of dry cereials at the grocery store ( manufactured by only a few companies ) or to the choices you have when selecting a car.

    With over 400 million potential individual consumers in North America alone, and that is not counting the number of businesses themselves as potential clients, I seriously doubt that they are killing the Golden Goose.

    Profit margin is another factor. Perhaps the CFL margins are low due to the number of entries into the marketplace, and now offering LED lamps, the manufacturers(s) profits will increase to a level satisfacory to the investors in the company.

    A whole lot is at play that you or I are probably not aware of of what in the marketplace has led to this decision.
  7. Apr 21, 2012 #6

    Chi Meson

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    Toys that I had growing up, some of them, lasted years, if not decades. I'm talking the Etch-a-sketch, the classic wood labyrinth, that little magnetic whirly doodad that rolls back and forth on the metal rails, etc. Each of these toys, and more, I have bought for my own children only to find that they break within the first month. I have bought many toys that have become inoperble as my kids have tried to remove them from the package.

    We received, last summer, a toy lacrosse set as a present for my boys. The plastic handles were so fragile, they splintered when I pinched them between my thumb and forefinger. Point? Making cheap crappy stuff is what is making China a rich environmental disaster.

    Meanwhile, one word: Toyota.

    The consumer market decides whether planned obsolescence will work or not. Seems to be alright with toys , but the Quality program of Toyota essentially put American cars (with a long history of falling apart) out of business, and redefined the expected lifetime of a car.

    With LCD bulbs, the market will find its equilibrium; manufacturers will allow the bulb to last as long as they need it to last to provide the right amount of quality while making a profit.
  8. Apr 21, 2012 #7


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    Transport companies hate spending money repairing their trucks. Not just the cost of a replacement brake light, but the cost of the technician, who has to do it.

    If they can buy lights that will last forever, it will be cost-effective.

    And if company B makes LEDs that last forever, while company A continues to sell regular lights that cost the transport companies more money, who is going to still be in business in ten years?

    The business 101 lesson that you're missing is that companies must change to meet the demands of their customers. You can't make as much money on products that have moved from innovation into commodity. You must continually drop the price and improve your offering, or die.
  9. Apr 21, 2012 #8
    You're assuming a product is going to be what a consumer wants for some time to come.

    My parents have a 32 Sony tube-television that still has vibrant picture. However the market has evolved. Competitors have changed the market technology considerably. My father is pretty cheap. However even he realizes, over the years, he can trust the Sony brand because it produces a superior product even though their products aren't cheap.

    However he's wanted to move on to a LED television, and last year he purchased one for his living room. Not because the television didn't work but because it was time to update the technology. The brand, of course, was Sony. He's a loyal customer because of the quality standards Sony conveys.

    The same could be said for so many products. Currently, I have a 6 year old Sony VAIO laptop that hasn't given me one problem. I'm pretty sure for my next purchase I'm going to go with Sony F-Series laptop for the same reasons.

    I'm also a die hard Honda/Acura consumer. I currently own a Acura RSX. It's not a cheap hatchback, but I already have 100,000 miles on the odometer. I'm sure this car is going to at least give me 220,000 miles of usage. It's become somewhat unpractical owning a small sports car (which is good reason for purchasing another car) but I'm hesitant on having another car note. If I decide to purchase another car I'm almost sure it will be either Honda/Acura or Toyota.
  10. Apr 21, 2012 #9

    jim hardy

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    Indeed. You can probably get 400K miles out of it with attention to lubrication belts and hoses.
    I am a believer in maintaining your stuff. My old Dodge Caravan went 300,000 miles before i gave it to a neighborhood youth.. Son still has the '65 Buick Electra my aunt bought new when i was a teenager.

    When things are built to last an individual can have several of them. A friend of mine currently has five Ford pickups from 1964-1676 restored, licensed and insured as antiques. I have a half dozen old Evinrude outboards.

    But EPA seems intent on making all machinery too complex to be maintained.
    For that reason i will never buy another new car.
    Instead i'd take the money to the classic car auction and get a 57 Thunderbird, or something else fun.
    Hmmm - Facel Vegas were nice , and had US made engines..........
  11. Apr 21, 2012 #10
    One of the best investments I've made so far was the Helm's guide on maintenance and repair. I do the extensive maintenance routine as opposed to the maximum timeline interval for changing fluids and worn parts. For instance, changing the manual transmission fluid every 30,000 miles as opposed to 120,000 miles. If it has fluids, it's getting changed. I've yet to have a single problem with my car. In addition, understanding repair and maintenance terminology is essential for keeping your car at optimum operating conditions. Knowing the difference between a fluid change and flush comes to mind.

    I have friends who have had transmission, steering, and brake problems on the same automobile. They go long durations without changing or checking oil and they wonder why they have problems.

    Your last comment is very concerning. I have a friend who recently purchased a BMW and it doesn't even have an oil measuring stick:eek:. Yes, automobile technology is becoming to cumbersome to even do simple task such as changing the radiator fluid.

    Your comment on fluid and wearable parts is completely underrated. I'm astonished that many people don't realize that changing such parts can easily double or triple the life of car.
  12. Apr 22, 2012 #11

    jim hardy

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    when people like me go out to buy a car, we pray to meet somebody like you.

    old jim
  13. Apr 23, 2012 #12
    How long will these bulbs really last, LEDs start to loose efficiency from the very start I just wonder how long it would be till you start to complain that "it's rather dim in here"?
  14. Apr 27, 2012 #13
    Dear all

    Thank you for your interesting point of views.

    I now have a better idea about the topic.

    Have a nice day.
  15. Apr 27, 2012 #14


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    LEDs are expensive. If they didn't last long nobody would buy them.
  16. Apr 27, 2012 #15
    Ask for a refund, that's poor info.

    Yea bad business sense, and on the other hand it's bad business sense to not be "nimble" enough to keep pace with changes in technology......that will slow bleed market share to the superior products.

    Lastly as far as lighting & making money goes it's in B2B & government rebates for "going green" if available.

    My employer recently had 65k in lighting capital installed, with government rebates of about 45k, & remarkable reduction in electricity expenses.

    How FAT do you think the margins were to capture more government rebate (i.e. reduce the cost to the buyer).....:smile:? Said differently, the rebate funds both parties, at the discretion of the supplier via custom work pricing.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
  17. May 5, 2012 #16
    Thanks folks!

    I have started using 4 such LED bulbs.

    I notice that 9W Led bulb , though rated to be equivalent to a 60W incandescent lamp, is not bright enough compared to a CFL rated at 20W, which is the kind of bulbs i am trying to replace.

    So far, Philips LED bulbs i can find are max rated at 9W. So, I reckon that Philips need to come up with higher wattage LED bulbs in order to replace existing CFL bulbs rated at 18W or higher.

    If they do come up with such a thing, I hope the price remain like the current 9w LED bulbs. If they do so, CFL will be slowly losing sales.

    For now, I am using a combination . so, the actual savings is lesser than expected.

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