The Real Reason Your Freezer Doesn't Have A Light

Quick! Without going to your kitchen, do you know offhand if your freezer has a light or not? Unless you've recently had a midnight craving for some ice cream and decided to rummage around your freezer without bothering to turn on the kitchen lights and grabbed some frozen burgers instead, chances are you won't know that many freezers don't come with a light. Your refrigerator has lights, so why doesn't your freezer? Surely it doesn't cost that much more to put a light in the freezer compartment than it does the refrigerator? The answer, it turns out, comes down to basic economic principles.

The reason many freezers don't have a light is due to the cost-benefit principle. As economist Robert Frank explained via PBS News Hour, the cost of adding a light to both compartments of a refrigerator is more or less the same, but the benefit of having a light in the refrigerator portion is significantly higher. Not only do people generally open the refrigerator more often than they do the freezer, but they will also be more likely to stand around looking at their options in the refrigerator (via Mental Floss).

There is less benefit to having a light in your freezer

As long-time refrigerator technician Ed Dougherty explained to Today I Found Out, manufacturers will try to save every dollar they can, and if there isn't as much benefit to having a light in a freezer, then they won't put a light in. The main benefit of having a light is that it's easier to find food. With the exception of ready-to-eat items like ice cream, usually when people are grabbing something from the freezer, it still needs to be cooked, or heated up, which means that the kitchen light will likely be on as well. And if the kitchen light is on, you probably don't need an extra light in your freezer to find what you're looking for.

If you happen to be someone who thinks that having a light in a freezer is not only a good idea but an essential one, you're in luck, as it is possible to buy a freezer with a built-in light these days. If you're feeling really flush, you can buy a Sub-Zero Pro 48 refrigerator and freezer with six different compartments, and lights in all of them, for only $14,450 (via PBS News Hour).