MUNDANE MYSTERIES: Why Are There Lights In Refrigerators, But Not In Freezers?

We’ve all made a late-night refrigerator raid to snag a snack. It’s a black-ops mission, during which you try to not wake up the rest of the house by tip-toeing through the dark to the kitchen where, thankfully, there’s a built-in fridge light that enables you to see & survey your spread. But what if your treat of choice happens to be of the frozen variety? Well, then I hope you brought your smartphone with you to use as a flashlight. Because, without it, you’re just gonna have to fumble around in the frozen dark, since pretty much no freezer has an interior light. Why is that? Why is there a light in the fridge, but not in the freezer?

We have the “cost-benefit principle” to thank for our lightless freezers. Basically, what the cost-benefit principle means is that something shouldn’t cost more than the benefit it provides to its consumer. And, since we, the consumers, pretty regularly use the lights in our refrigerators, fridge lights are considered a valuable feature by manufacturers, meaning they’re able to justify the cost of installing the lights’ electrical parts. Installing freezer lights, though? Yeah…not so much.

Research has shown consumers don’t value freezer lights very highly, certainly not as much as fridge lights. The most likely reason why is that the majority of us just don’t open our freezers as frequently as we do our refrigerators. And then when we do open our freezers, we’re less likely to stand there for a while surveying the surroundings.

Another potential theory: back in the day (before modern freezers), manufacturers decided it wasn’t worth the hassle to install freezer lights since they’d most likely end up being covered over by ice accumulation. And then, by the time self-defrosting freezers eventually became a thing & available to consumers, everyone had pretty much already gotten used to not having freezer lights. And that’s why it’s still the norm today.

So, whenever you go to buy a new fridge/freezer at an appliance store & you hear the salesperson say “AND it’s got a freezer light!”, that’s just an easy way for him to try & upsell you on a higher-priced model. But we live in the age of smart refrigerators, ones that you can even watch TV while you plunder your produce, so a freezer light probably isn’t the sure-fire selling point it once may have been. (I still want one, though…what can I say, I’m a simple man!)

Got a Mundane Mystery you’d like solved? Send me a message via social media (@AndyWebbRadioVoice), or shoot me an email at [email protected].

BROUGHT TO YOU BY: Airtron Heating & Air Conditioning