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Which Flat Screen TV is the Most Energy Efficient?

by Laura Adams

One of the best ways to cut your energy bill and save money is to choose appliances and electronics that are energy efficient.

If you’re in the market for a new flat screen TV or plan to buy one as a gift during the holidays, consider which kind uses the least amount of energy. After all, the upfront price is just one factor in the cost of a product that you or your family will probably use every day for many years to come.

What are the Different Types of Flat Screen TVs?

When it comes to choosing a flat screen TV, you have 3 basic choices:

    1. Plasma: The display on a plasma TV is made up of small cells that contain gas, which are like millions of tiny fluorescent lamps. The plasma gas is housed in a glass display, which makes it heavier and thicker than other options. The plasma causes the screen picture elements (known as pixels) to glow, which creates the TV image. Plasma displays are bright and can be produced in large sizes.
    2. Liquid crystal display (LCD): These are the most widely produced and sold type of TV. LCD displays are made up of millions of pixels arranged on a grid that create images by filtering a white light through the display. LCD screens are lightweight and can be made in almost any size or shape.
    3. Light-emitting diode (LED): These TVs are similar to LCDs, but they use a backlighting technology that offers more picture contrast. The displays are extremely bright, thin, and reliable. However, LED TVs are also more expensive because they’re the newest technology on the market. Their light weight makes them much easier to mount on a wall.

Which Type of Flat Screen TV Saves More Energy?

Which Flat Screen TV Saves the Most EnergyAccording to Florida Power & Light Company, flat screen TVs are energy hogs. Taking the energy-efficiency of a new flat screen TV into consideration is important because not only does it pull power while it’s in use, but it’s costing you even in standby or sleep mode.

Additionally, you’ll probably have your TV connected to other electronics like a digital video recorder (DVR), a stereo system, music speakers, and a DVD player, that are also using energy.

Here’s the scoop on energy usage for each of the 3 basic types of TVs:

  • Plasmas have the highest energy consumption, using as much as 3 times the power of an old-school cathode-ray tube (CRT) TV of a similar size.
  • LCDs use about 50% to 70% more power than a CRT of a similar size and less energy than a plasma.
  • LEDs pull slightly less power than a LCDs of the same size.

Florida Power & Light says that no matter which type of TV you choose, purchasing an ENERGY STAR model can help you shave as much as 30% to 70% off your energy bill.

Therefore the most energy efficient option is an ENERGY STAR-rated LED TV. Though an LED typically has a higher price tag, you can make up the difference in your energy bills, depending on how long you own the TV and use it on a daily basis.

How to Get Rid of Energy Vampires

Besides TVs, our homes are filled with energy vampires—like clock displays, timers, chargers, computers, and other home electronics—that suck our power even when we’re not using them. Standby power is useful, but it can cost you.

Consider plugging multiple electronics and equipment into a power strip so you can turn it off completely when you really don’t need the devices working for you. Also remember to unplug chargers for your cell phone, camera, and batteries, when they’re not in use. Start killing unnecessary energy vampire in your home, so you can save more energy and money!

Another tip is to use a programmable thermostat, which can help you save up to 40% on you energy bill each month.

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Published or updated January 18, 2013.
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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Krantcents

I have been using a programmable thermostat for years, it saves a lot energy and money in southern California I keep the temperatures at 78 degrees (summer) when no one is home and 68 degrees (winter).

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2 Sun

Instead of watching TV, go for a walk. A turned off TV takes up a lot less energy than one that you have on.

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3 Ryan

Very true, Sun! I ended up buying a plasma TV, even though they use the most power of these types of TVs. But the amount of power consumed only makes a big difference if you watch a lot of TV. We don’t watch more than a few hours of TV each week, so the difference is minimal.

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