The Centennial Light is the world’s longest-lasting light bulb

The Centennial Light is the world’s longest-lasting light bulb. It is at 4550 East Avenue, Livermore, California, and maintained by the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department. The fire department says that the bulb is at least 113 years old and has been turned off only a handful of times. Due to its longevity, the bulb has been noted by The Guinness Book of World Records, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, and General Electric. It is often cited as evidence for the existence of planned obsolescence in later-produced light bulbs.


The bulb was officially listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as “the Most Durable Light”, in 1972, replacing another bulb in Fort Worth, Texas. The bulb was listed in the book for the next 16 editions. It was not listed during 1988–2006, without a reason being given, before returning in 2007.

2010 French-Spanish documentary The Light Bulb Conspiracy dealing with planned obsolescence refers to the Centennial Light extensively.

According to the fire chief, every few months a news outlet will publish a story on the bulb, generating visitors and general interest, then it will drop back into obscurity for a while. Dozens of magazines and newspapers have featured articles on the bulb. The bulb has been visited and featured by many major news channels in the United States, including NBC, ABC, Fox, CBS, WB, CNN and NPR. The bulb has received letters acknowledging and celebrating its longevity from the city of Shelby, Ohio, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, the California State Assembly, the California State Senate, Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, Senator Barbara Boxer, and President George W. Bush. The bulb was featured on an episode of MythBusters on December 13, 2006. It was also in the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) documentary Livermore. It was also briefly mentioned on Warehouse 13 in the season one episode “Regrets”.