Friday, November 19, 2010

Stolen Bulbs Leave You in the Dark on the Subway

Thomas Edison's Patent Application For an inca...Image via Wikipedia
A large city in the United States had a problem with thefts of light bulbs from its subway system. Thieves would unscrew the light bulbs, leading to cost and security issues. The engineer who was given this challenge could not alter the location of the light bulbs, and he had very little budget to work with, but he came up with a solution.

Do you know what his solution was? What happened?

Another puzzle taken from a book: The Leader's Guide to Lateral Thinking Skills: Unlocking the Creativity and Innovation in You and Your Team


  1. I was hoping there would be an answer by now. I can't think of a solution that would be inexpensive.

  2. Turns out he decided to go with a left-hand threaded base. Since the bulbs were not usable elsewhere, theft went way down. They wouldn't have cost the subway system much.

    This solution was used in NYC and SF subway systems and in major hotel chains.

  3. Thanks Mike, I NEVER would have guessed that!

  4. Put in a hotter bulb and leave it on all the time. Now they're too hot to touch


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