Watching how much electricity you use can save you money over the long run and potentially leave you with a substantially cheaper electricity bill vs. someone who uses high wattage appliances and leaves them running all the time. But when it comes to TVs, how much electricity do they consume, and what is the exact wattage?
TVs can consume anywhere between 80 and 400 watts depending on the size and display technology used. TVs are not made equal, and there will be a massive power to draw the difference between a 24-inch 1080p TV and a 75-inch 4K QLED TV.
This article will be going more in-depth on the wattage differences between various TV types and how much money the differences will save you. If you would like to learn more, we encourage you to read further.
Factors Affecting a TV’s Watt Usage
Answering the question “how many watts does a TV use” is tricky because there are so many different types of TVs from many manufacturers to pick from that it isn’t a one size fits all answer. These various factors will affect how much power a TV will draw.
Screen Size and Resolution
You can buy a TV in any size you want these days. If you just want something to place on a desk, you can buy a 24-inch that will get the job done for $80. Perfect for those who play video games at a desk or need a cheap display for their laptop.
You can bump that up and go for a 40-50 inch. This TV size range is where you’ll find the more affordable 4K TVs these days. They are perfect for a bedroom, and you see good sales on them from time to time.
The most popular TV size in North America is 65-inch, namely because it provides a great size screen in a living room without costing as much as larger TVs such as 75 inch and above.
Each step-up in size will significantly draw more power since display resolution increases from 1080p to 4K once you go from 24-inch to 40+ inches. To put in perspective just how huge a difference 4K vs. 1080p is, it would take four 1080p displays combined to reach 4K. So essentially, 4K is 4x sharper than 1080p. But this also means more power is needed to support such a high resolution of the display.
Shopping for a TV isn’t just about picking a resolution and screen size. You also have to factor in what display technology the TV is using. These days the common types of TVs you can find are as follows:
LCD, LED, and OLED are generally energy efficient. OLED has an advantage up its sleeve where it will not use pixels that do not need to be illuminated. This is why OLEDs have true blacks – you are essentially just seeing a part of the off-screen.
QLED is generally the more energy heavy of the bunch, but it offers (almost) the pop that OLEDs have without the risk of screen burn-in. If you would like to learn more about this topic, this page explains the differences between OLED and QLED well.
So, in short, QLED will be the display type that will make a real difference in how much energy is consumed while the rest are so close these days that it is negligible.
If you would like to learn more about each display type’s differences, this video explains each exceptionally well:
Examples of Popular TVs and Their Watt Usage
Since TV models can differ depending on the factors, we listed above, we wanted to give some examples of some of the best-selling TVs on Amazon to get a general idea of how much running the TV will cost you. Spoiler Alert: none of these come close to 400 watts, so don’t worry!
SAMSUNG 50-inch Class Crystal UHD TU-8000 Series
If you need a new TV, this is certainly a good place to look if you are searching for something that isn’t too expensive, too big, and offers a nice 4K display with smart features.
It’s no wonder it is one of Amazon’s best sellers; it’s a great TV for many people. But what it also does right is that it is Energy Star certified with a maximum power draw of 135 watts.
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TCL 50S425 50 inches 4K Smart LED ROKU TV
This is one of the more affordable 4K TVs you can buy, slipping under the $300 price mark and hits very close to $200 for the 43-inch model. If you haven’t upgraded to 4K yet, this is an option that won’t hurt the wallet too much.
What really makes this a killer value is that it also has HDR technology to make games and movies pop. You used to need to spend a lot more to get a TV of this caliber. If you need a budget TV, this would be our pick! The power draw on this TV is only 96 watts at a maximum, which puts it in line with many other 4K TVs of similar size.
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SAMSUNG 85-inch Class QLED Q80T Series
This isn’t exactly the “best selling” per se, but we wanted to give an example of how much power a huge flagship TV will draw. And this TV, in particular, is one of the best you will find. If you have the cash for it, then it is certainly worth a look.
For starters, this TV is gigantic and makes the most out of 4K by keeping a crisp image even when those pixels are stretched so far. But being big isn’t the only reason for the hefty price tag. This TV is using QLED display technology and features 12x Quantum HDR. All of this together creates jaw-dropping colors, but we aren’t done here.
You also get a 120hz refresh rate, which will be great for both the PS5 and Xbox Series X as they support 120 fps in certain games, making for buttery-smooth gameplay. If you are a console gamer, you will love this TV for sure.
So what does the energy consumption situation look like? If you have the brightness cranked up with 120hz, and 12x Quantum HDR enabled, you are looking at a power draw of an eye-watering 470 watts.This is much more than what the typical 4K uses at their maximum brightness levels.
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Electricity Cost Will Make the Real Difference
So what have we learned today? The chances are that you have a TV that sips on power and draws approximately 100-160 watts of power. This will not likely kill your wallet when the electric bill comes. However, if you want the best QLED TVs on the market with a 120hz refresh rate, you are looking at a TV that can easily go over 400 watts.
Most TVs will cost you about $15 a year to run, while ultra-premium models like the 85 inch Samsung QLED we talked about will be $35 a year on average.This will depend on where you live; of course, if you are in a state, city, or country that has high electricity prices, you might want to watch out more.
In Germany, a 100 watt TV that runs 5 hours a day will cost you $65 per year. This is because their electricity costs are the highest in the world at 30.43 cents per kilowatt-hour. Now, take the 85-inch Samsung QLED, which will cost you $310 per year, assuming you are pushing the TV to the max.
It’s worth noting that all of these numbers thrown out today are the maximum watts the TVs will use if you have them on full brightness and all of the features enabled. It’s safe to say that most folks don’t have their brightness cranked up that far because it can get pretty blinding depending on your model.
As far as the 120hz refresh rate is concerned, most video content isn’t going to be at 120 fps. And if you are a gamer, you will be hard-pressed to run games at 4k/120 fps due to the amount of power you’d need unless you are playing lighter games such as Ori and the Will of the Wisps.
In short, TVs aren’t going to chug power in most cases, and even if you have a flagship TV with cutting-edge technology, you probably aren’t maxing out the power draw at all times.
TVs don’t use a lot of power in comparison to other electronics. The goal with tech, in general, is to usually get the most performance out of the least amount of power you can get away with. This is important for portable devices that run on batteries, such as smartphones and tablets, but it is also crucial for not tearing into your electric bill.
Unless you have a very high-end TV and live in an area where electricity is expensive, you shouldn’t notice any significant power draw.