Remember those old TV sets we had while growing up; the huge, boxy ones with those curved screens? So much has changed since then. We have better picture quality, flat screens, seriously skinny TVs…. But the coolest thing that has changed is how much less electricity most of the new ones use.

evolution of televisions

Remember the good old “idiot boxes”? They have evolved quite a bit now.


A 32-inch CRT TV tested in 2005 used an alarming 164 W. Quite a power-hog, wouldn’t you say? Contrast that with the latest crop of LED TVs… You can easily get a 42-inch LED TV that consumes under 80W. That’s right, less than half! Since Americans watch an average of 5 hours of television a day, and considering a utility cost of $0.12/kWh, you’re spending less than $13 a year. That’s right, a little over a dollar a month!

TV power consumption infographic

Here’s why you should be concerned about the power consumption of your TV


So what are the factors that make all the difference?

When it comes to power consumption, not all televisions are created equal. As with most appliances, look for an “Energy Star” one, which guarantees more energy efficiency. The key difference in power consumption of your TV lies in what kind of TV it is.

The now-popular 4K Televisions are absolutely greedy for electricity. They use 30% more electricity on an average than your HD screens. Out of the modern crop of TV technologies, the Eco-Hero is LED. A 15-inch LED uses a mere 15W. Even a mammoth 50-inch LED TV uses just 100W. The next most environment friendly option is an LCD TV, wherein a 15-inch screen demands 18W. A little more than an LED, for sure, but significantly less than the 65W that a 15-inch CRT TV uses. And the worst offender of them all? 50-inch Plasma TVs suck up an unbelievable 300W, which is triple of an LED TV of the same size.

So what affects power consumption in a TV? Firstly, of course, the technology, as we just saw. Secondly, the screen size makes a huge difference. Larger screens have more area to be lit up, and that is what uses power, so it makes great sense to go for a smaller sized one. Thirdly, your TV settings can help you out. If you have a power-saving mode, use that. And calibrate your TV settings to a low brightness, which will knock some pennies off the bills as well extend the life of your TV.

You can get a more accurate idea of your particular TV’s power consumption on easily available online tools.

Want to see how these TVs stack up on power consumption? Watch Plasma, LCD and DLP Televisions compared.

So what can you do if you have a power-hungry TV?

The first step would naturally be to make a power-saving TV an important factor whenever you’re buying a new TV. A Smart TV might also be a great move. They go far beyond just being connected to the internet for streaming content. It goes far beyond that, including features like power savings through an auto-off function and the automatic adjustment of brightness and volume.

Hooking up your television to a smart plug or a smart power strip will help you track your usage better, and can be programmed to switch off at a particular time, if you tend to drift off to sleep with the TV on. Just leaving your TV on standby mode saps power, and that just increases with media streaming devices like Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick or Roku. And switching it off doesn’t just save on your electricity bill, it extends the life of your TV set. Since these are programmable, they can be remotely controlled with your Android or iOS phone.

And we love the new generation of modular smart power strips out there. With these, a smart power strip module can also be added into your next home re-mod for a smart technology that saves power and looks stylish at the same time. What’s not to love?

Here’s how to set up your TV and other devices on a smart power strip to save on your electricity bill!

So it’s amazing how energy efficient the latest TVs have become. They cost pennies to run. If you’re thinking of replacing your old power-hog TV, it’s a great move to buy an energy efficient one like a Smart TV or an LED TV, and you can take it a step further by using a smart power strip to save a bit more and also make the planet a better place in the process.

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