New TVs are More Energy Efficient
The CEA says that today's HDTVs actually consume less than the average light bulb.
February 04, 2011 by Rachel Cericola

You’d think that ginormous new HDTV would be a serious energy suck. Well, you’d be wrong. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, TVs are getting bigger, but also more energy efficient.

The new study, “Power Consumption Trends in Digital TVs Produced Since 2003,” sounds pretty self-explanatory. The CEA took a look at the power consumption on popular digital TV models made between 2003 and 2010. The study includes both LCD and plasma displays ranging from 13- to 65-inches, in both active and standby modes. A few of the highlights include:

  • LCD active power use fell 63 percent from 2003 to 2010.
  • LCD standby power use dropped 87 percent from 2004 to 2010.
  • Plasma TV active power use dropped 41 percent from 2008 to 2010.
  • Plasma TV standby use fell 85 percent from 2008 to 2010.

If you want to get more specific, the CEA is saying that the average 2010 TV actually consumes less energy than a 100-watt incandescent light bulb—less than what it takes to light a living room. That’s because manufacturers are slowly, but surely, replacing standard fluorescent backlighting on LCDs for light emitting diodes, also known as LEDs.

“In just a few years, digital TVs have achieved energy savings which took their power-hungry analog predecessors several decades to achieve,” says Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA. “In both design and usage, consumer electronics are increasingly contributing to national energy savings.”

For 2011, the CEA expects LCDs to account for 82 percent of TV sales. That translates to 27.1 million units. We can expect another 4.6 million plasmas to ship, as well as be more energy efficient, thanks to “the optimization of the xenon/neon gas mixture, which produces UV light.”

“Power Consumption Trends in Digital TVs Produced Since 2003” was conducted by research and technology consulting firm TIAX LLC, on behalf of the CEA. The study looked at LCD TVs from 13 to 65 inches, and plasmas from 42 to 65 inches. Find more on this study on the CEA’s website.

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Rachel Cericola - Contributing Writer
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at

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