by Catherine Haug, August 8, 2011
Last June, my old 27″ CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) TV died. So I went shopping for a new flat screen TV that would fit in my custom TV cabinet built to house the old CRT. Although a 26″ flat-screen would have fit, I came home with a 23″ because that was all they had in stock, and because it was an LCD-LED TV.
Why was the LED so important to me? Because of all the flat-screens (except rear-projection TVs), it is the most energy efficient, and because it is not lit by fluorescent lights that bother my eyes.
Average energy consumption, by TV type
Screen size, type of light source and resolution affect power consumption. With some models, you can adjust light levels and resolution to make the TV more efficient.
Current TVs on the market, and their average energy consumption:
- LCD: consumes 111 watts, average. Backlit with CCFL fluorescent lights to illuminate the screen; size range: 13″ – 65″. (3,4)
- LCD-LED: consumes 101 watts, average.Backlit with light-emitting diodes (LED), LED TVs are the most energy efficient of the moderate-size TVs.(4)
- Plasma: consumes 301 watts average – power hogs for their size, and more energy than that consumed by a large refrigerator. Each pixel has its own discrete light source; plasma TVs continue to draw power to keep these lights warm when the TV is off (2); size range 42″ – 65″. (2,4)
- Rear projection: consume 150-200 watts for screens 60″ and up (2). These are the most energy efficient for their size but they are rare these days; size range 50″ – 73″. (2,4)
- CRT: A 28″ TV consumes about 100 watts. CRTs use a cathode-ray picture tube; new ones are hard to find. While these are relatively inefficient, their screen size is limited, so relative energy consumption isn’t that bad compared to a large-screen model (2,3).
References and for More Information
- NRDC TV Energy Efficiency Research has lots of data and graphs.
- Oregon Live Blog: Energy Efficient TVs (2008 article)
- CNET Energy Efficiency Guide
- Rural Montana Magazine, August 2011 issue, How Big is that big screen? (page 6 of magazine; page 8 in online view)