LCD & Plasma TV Power Requirements

The new generation of skinny TV sets fit into three categories: LCD, LCD/LED or plasma flat-screens. All are light enough to hang on the wall, ranging to over 5 feet in size. They look similar but work quite differently and eat electricity at different rates. The three major differentiating factors determining energy consumption are: type of illumination technology, screen size and picture settings. These all add up to the wattage rating, which provides one simple bottom line number for comparing operational power consumption.

  1. Plasma TVs

    • Illumination technology: Plasma sets use thousands of tiny fluorescent light "bulbs" to illuminate every pixel on the screen. Plasma TVs are modern energy hogs that often do not qualify for Department of Energy "Energy Star" designation, although they use less electricity than older cathode ray tube TV sets of the same size. The screen sizes for plasma TVs fall into 24 to 65 inches, but most are in the 30- to 60-inch spectrum. User-adjustable picture contrast controls can somewhat reduce light output, with minor energy savings. The bottom line: 40- to 42-inch sets use from 180 to 300 watts.

    LCD TVs

    • Illumination technology: Traditional LCD sets, also called LCD/CFLs, have liquid crystal display panels backlit by large, cold cathode fluorescent lamps, which require less energy than plasma technology. LCD screen sizes fall between 19 to 60 inches; most are in the 22- to 55-inch category. Picture contrast and backlight controls can reduce light output, with moderate energy savings. The bottom line: 40- to 42-inch sets use from 130 to 230 watts.

    LCD/LED TVs

    • LED TV power consumption is the lowest among all flat-screen TVs
      LED TV power consumption is the lowest among all flat-screen TVs

      Illumination technology: LCD displays that employ long-life LED backlights are also referred to as LCD/LED or LED TVs. These are the most energy efficient of all flat-panel TVs, with some 60-inch LED TVs using less power than a 42-inch plasma model. LCD screen sizes fall between 19 to 60 inches; most are in the 40- to 55-inch spectrum. Picture contrast and backlight controls may reduce light output and result in considerable energy savings. High-end systems automatically adjust LED backlight intensity to minimize power usage, while retaining viewer preferences for brightness. The bottom line: 40- to 42-inch sets use from 100 to 170 watts.

    Overlooked Power Issues

    • • Video games may double or even triple wattage consumption.

      • Internal and detached speakers add to the power draw of a flat-screen TV, depending upon the number of speakers, combined wattage rating and volume levels.

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References

  • Photo Credit power plug image by Ni Chun from Fotolia.com tv control and tv 3 image by chrisharvey from Fotolia.com

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