Calculate your TV’s Electricity Usage [LED, LCD, Plasma & CRT]
A home without a TV set is more the exception than the rule in the U.S. Many households even have a couple or more. Well, watching TV is one way to relieve stress and boredom, so we can’t blame you if you have a TV in every room. But if you aim to lower your energy consumption, it will be a good idea to find out how many watts a TV use. In that way, you can limit your TV viewing to see a reduction in your electric bill.
TV Energy Consumption
How much electricity a TV set uses depends on several factors, such as your TV’s size, age, and the like. In general, a television’s power consumption falls between 80 and 400 watts. So if electricity costs $0.13 per kWh in your area and you leave your set on 5 hours a day, expect your viewing to add around $7.13 a month to your energy expenses.
However, as we said, how much electricity a TV consumes varies. A 24-inch 2080p model will use far less power than a 75-inch 4K QLED one. So if you want to save electricity, knowing the factors that affect your TV’s energy consumption will help with your goal.
Here are the different types of tv and how much electricity they use:
- Cathode-ray tube (CRT) models: These types were the only models you could find for the longest time. Their energy consumption is around 60 to 100 watts per hour. A CRT TV consumes about 2-3 watts an hour in standby mode.
- LCD models: The size of the panel determines how much power an LCD TV consumes. The median model has a 32-inch panel size, with an electricity consumption ranging between 40 and 55 watts. In sleep mode, this type uses up a minuscule 1W per hour.
- LED TVs: Being more energy-efficient, the power consumption of LED TVs is 40% lower on average than other models. Compared to LCD TVs of the same size, one with an LED panel uses up around 50 watts per hour powered up and only 0.3 watts in sleep mode.
- Plasma TVs: These models aren’t as energy-efficient as LCD or LED types. The average electricity consumption of a 30-inch TV is around 150 watts per hour. In sleep mode, the plasma TV consumes about 0.5 watts.
How to Calculate TV Power Consumption?
You’ll need three essential pieces of information if you want to calculate your TV’s power consumption. These include your unit’s wattage, hours of TV use, and the electricity rate in your area. Use the following formulas to find out how much you pay for your TV viewing.
- To determine your unit’s electricity usage
Power consumption (in kWh) = Wattage of the appliance (kW) x operational hours (or hours of tv use)
TV models in the market have wattages between 80 to 400 watts. So let’s say you have a 50-inch LED TV with a rated power of 100 watts, and you use it for 12 hours a day.
Here’s how your calculation goes.
100 watts (your TV’s wattage) x 12 hours (operational hours) = 1200 watt-hours or 1.2 kWh
Your set consumes 1.2 kWh a day.
- To determine the power consumed by your unit for one month
Multiply the watt-hours per day by the number of days in a month
1200 (watt-hours) x 30 (days in a month) = 36,000 watt-hours or 36 kWh
Your TV set uses around 36 kWh in a month.
- To find out how much you pay for your TV’’s power consumption per month
Multiply the kilowatt-hour by the per kWh rate in your area. For this, let’s use the average electricity rate in the U.S., which is 10.42 cents per kWh.
36 (kWh) x 0.1042 (per kWh rate) = 3.75
You pay $3.75 a month for using your TV set.
Factors Affecting TV Power Consumption
Before the invention of the different models, only the size of a cathode-ray tube TV determined how much energy the unit consumed. Advances in technology created various models, some of which are more power-efficient than others. Nowadays, how many watts a TV consumes depends on several factors aside from its size. So if you want to know how many watts a TV use, you’ll need to look at the model.
Let’s see what can affect your set’s power consumption.
The older your TV set, the higher its electricity consumption. For example, the energy usage of a 32-inch CRT model stands at 150 watts, on average. Compare that with a newer LED TV of the same size, which is between 40-55 watts and a maximum of 70 watts per hour.
Aside from the reduced power consumption of newer models, upgrades in technology also led to better picture quality. So it’s not just a matter of how many watts your unit consumes but also the viewing pleasure it brings.
The second most significant factor determining how many watts a TV consumes is its size. For example, a LED model 15-inch TV needs only around 15 watts to operate. In contrast, one with a 50-inch panel uses 50 watts an hour. This proves that the size of your TV affects how much power your home draws from the grid. In fact, each upgrade in size will increase the watts your set uses due to the resolution enhancement of the unit.
The display technology used in your TV will affect its power usage and hence, your electricity bill. An LCD and LED TV are comparable when it comes to energy efficiency. Older CRT and plasma screens are substantial energy drains compared to newer screen types. CRT and plasma TVs use around three times more electricity than their LCD and LED counterparts. If you have a TV set using the older technologies, switching to an LCD or LED set can help lower your electricity bill.
Important Terms Related To TV Power Consumption
Knowing some important terms will allow you to calculate your appliance’s power usage correctly. This will significantly aid your efforts to lower your home’s total energy consumption. These essential terms are the following:
- Watt (W): This unit of measurement indicates the power of an electrical device or appliance, in this case, your TV set.
1000 W = 1 kilowatt (KW)
- Units (kWh): The units indicated in the electricity bill reflect the electricity consumed by an appliance or device per hour. They’re usually in the form of kilowatt-hours or kWh.
- Tariff (price/kWh): The tariff is the price your electricity provider charges for every kWh of energy in your area. The electricity rate in the country varies per state.
All TV sets have corresponding wattages, which vary depending on the factors we’ve mentioned. If you want to know the wattage of your flat-screen TV, for example, look at the back of your appliance. You’ll usually find a small silver sticker detailing the technical specifications of your unit. These specifications include the wattage, input voltage, and the like.
If you can’t locate the information, visit the manufacturer’s website. Alternatively, you can look for the TV model on Amazon and check the specifications listed there.
Power Consumption: CRT TV vs LED TV
Undoubtedly, a CRT TV drains more electricity than its LED counterpart. Screen size notwithstanding, the older technology is less energy-efficient, making the old tube a power hog.
A CRT set can use up a whopping 400 watts depending on the screen size and other factors. Plasma screens come second in terms of energy usage at about 150 watts, followed by LCDs which suck up 165 watts of power. LED TVs are the most energy-efficient, as they use up only 155 watts.
Reducing your TV’s Power Consumption
Although TV sets aren’t the top energy users in a home, they still consume electricity, and this power consumption can significantly add to your total electricity usage. Thus, they can potentially increase your monthly electric bill. However, you won’t have to give up one of your sources of entertainment to see some savings on your utility expenses. Reducing the amount of power your set draws is the key to your goal.
You won’t run out of options for curbing your television’s power usage. Here are some tips.
Lower Backlight Setting
The backlight drains the most power among your television’s components. Lowering the backlight level will also reduce your set’s energy consumption. Installing your device in a dimly lit environment will lessen your need for a bright backlight. Modern units usually come with a built-in light sensor. Turn it on to automatically optimize your set’s brightness setting.
Turn the TV Off
Turning off your TV set is the best way to reduce its power consumption. Better yet, pull the plug off the socket. The energy consumed by even a 100-inch TV falls to zero if it’s disconnected from a power source. This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people leave their sets on all the time. They may use it for some background noise or don’t even notice it running. Make a conscious effort to power down your set to see some savings on your electricity bill.
Turn Off TV accessories
You likely have several components connected to your TV. Examples of these are your home entertainment system and gaming consoles. These devices may remain on standby mode without your knowledge, making them continually use electricity. Like with your television, make sure you completely turn off all the accessories attached to it. Using a smart power strip makes it easier to cut off the power for these devices.
Don’t Use Standby mode
Just because an appliance isn’t powered on doesn’t mean it’s not drawing energy from the grid. Electronics usually have a standby mode setting. In such a state, they continue to consume electricity. Standby power will use about 2.5% to 5% of electricity. The amount may be small but it can add up, especially if you leave all your appliances in this mode. So turn off your set completely when it’s not in use. For greater convenience, you can plug your TV into a smart power strip which turns off devices that are not in use.
Turn Off Always On Feature
The “always-on” feature on your set lets you enjoy viewing ease older generations never dreamed of. Imagine being able to turn on your TV by voice command to a smart speaker. The downside? This feature adds to the set’s electricity usage. You can lower your appliance’s energy consumption by almost 50% by turning off this feature, especially if it’s an Energy Star model.
Save Electricity on Your TV
Modern appliances, including the TV set, have become more energy-efficient than their older counterparts. Still, there are some things you can do to further save electricity with your TV.
Find a Good TV Location
The best location for your TV depends on your viewing habits. In general, install it in a lighted room to save on the screen brightness. However, if you prefer a theater-like ambiance, place the set in a dimly lit room and adjust the contrast, setting the brightness control to low.
Unplug from the Socket
Electronics that remain plugged in continue using electricity even when they’re not running. There’s even a term for the power consumed by electronics that draw electricity. It’s called vampire energy. To prevent wasting electricity, pull the plug off the socket. Alternatively, you can use a smart power strip. You can save around 5 watts by using this technique.
Set Shutdown Timer
Do you fall asleep while watching TV? You’re not alone. Studies show that almost 70% of television viewers fall asleep while viewing their chosen program. So your set won’t continue to consume electricity while you snooze away, set the shutdown timer. Most models, especially smart TV, come with this feature.
Get an Energy Star TV
A smart TV is an excellent investment when it comes to reducing your power bills. It has many features that can help lower its power use. Better yet, get an Energy Star-certified model. Appliances with this seal indicate that they consume less electricity (by about 30%) than conventional models. They may cost more upfront, but you can get back your investment through the savings on your utility expenses.
Don’t Use Plasma TV
Next to the old CRT models, plasma TVs consume the most electricity among the newer screen types. Their picture quality may be terrific, but eco-friendly, they’re not as they need more power to operate. The higher energy usage may not be enough to show a dramatic spike in your electricity bill, but the small amount adds up. OLED and LED TVs are better alternatives.
Use Energy-Saving Mode (If possible)
Many TV brands and models now come with the energy-saving mode. The feature may be called by different names, such as eco-mode, or it may be part of an Ambient Light Detection selection. But it serves the same purpose, which is to save electricity consumption. Find out if your set is equipped with this feature and use it as much as possible. Not only will you save money on your bill, but you’ll also reduce your home’s carbon footprint.
Does Large Screen TV Equate to High Power Consumption?
Although other factors come into play that can affect the TV’s power consumption, size is a major consideration. That’s because it takes more electricity to power a large screen than a small one. For example, a 30-inch LED TV uses between 50 and 60 watts, while a 42-inch one consumes between 80 and 100 watts.
How much do Energy Star Televisions Save you?
The Energy Star seal is your assurance that the appliance has passed stringent energy-efficiency standards. Using an Energy Star-rated TV uses 25% less electricity compared to non-certified models. The savings you get over time can easily make up for the higher sticker price of these appliances.
What appliances use vampire power?
Appliances that have a standby mode consume electricity even when turned off. This energy use is called vampire power. Computers and equipment related to computer use (i.e., modems, routers, etc.) rank first in the list of appliances that use vampire energy. Instant-on TVs come next.
How much solar power does it take to run a TV?
The answer to how many watts a TV consumes depends on a few factors, such as screen size, type, model, and set’s age. Even your TV use affects your unit’s energy usage. Plenty of screen time significantly drives up your monthly electricity bill. If you aim to shrink your monthly electricity bill, there are some measures you can employ. These include buying a smart TV, lessening your TV use, and following our tips for reducing your appliance’s power usage. Some homeowners even opt to power their sets using solar panels.
In the end, it’s not just about saving money on your energy costs but also about helping the environment. By lowering your home’s electricity consumption, you join the efforts to lessen the greenhouse gas emissions that warm the planet and accelerate global warming.