Burning questions

How many watts does a TV use? Let’s see…

An average American watches TV for four hours a day. Ever wondered how much money you spend on electricity for it? In this article, we’ll look at how many watts a TV uses and evaluate its running costs.

TV power consumption depends on size and type

The average wattage of TV ranges from 100 to 200 watts. The exact number depends on the model that you have, the size of the screen and the type. Here are some general guidelines:

  1. LED/LCD TVs. These are the most common types of TVs. Small to medium-sized LED/LCD TVs (around 32 inches) typically use about 30 to 55 watts. Larger models (50 inches and above) can range from 100 to 300 watts or more.

  2. Plasma TVs. Plasma TVs become less common in particular because they tend to use more power than LED/LCD TVs. Small plasma TVs may use around 100 to 150 watts, while larger models can go up to 500 watts or more.

  3. OLED TVs. OLED TVs are known for their high-quality display. Their power consumption is generally in the range of 100 to 200 watts for smaller to medium-sized screens, but it can go higher for larger models.

Smart TVs have additional features that may consume more power, such as internet connection and built-in apps. However, the added power usage for these features is usually minimal compared to the screen size and type.

Setting an example

Let’s try to imagine the daily consumption of your TV. The average American watches TV for about four hours per day, according to A.C. Nielsen Co. Based on it we’ll figure out the TV running costs per day, per month and per year. Suppose, you have a 100W TV on for four hours every day. Its daily, monthly and annual consumption then amounts to:

100 W × 4 h = 400 Wh/day × 30 = 12 kWh/month × 12 = 144 kWh/year

The average electricity rate in the US amounts to $0.17 per kilowatt-hour. This means that in this particular example, your TV costs you about 8 cents per day. The monthly running costs amount to $2. Over the course of one year, you’ll pay about $25 for electricity for your TV. The bill of course changes with your TV wattage and your watching habits.

But wait… There’s more!

Plugged-in TV still uses energy in standby


average consumption of an appliance in standby mode

Appliances that stay on standby use a bit of energy all the time. This includes things like TVs, laptops in sleep mode, unplugged phone chargers, game consoles, and coffee machines. Even though they're not being actively used, they still use power. While one device might not seem like a big deal, having many of them can add $100 to $200 extra to your yearly electricity bill.

You can save money by reducing standby power - every little bit helps! Unplug devices when you're not using them. If it’s tedious, use power strips or invest in smart outlets.

TV can be powered with solar generator

A small TV can be a nice companion if you’re travelling on a trailer or a boat. To keep your devices powered, you can add solar panels to your equipment and harvest electricity anywhere you go.

Different sizes and styles are available for portable solar panels. Flexible solar panels can be fixed to your RV or boat using adhesives. Alternatively, foldable solar panels come equipped with kickstands, allowing you to set them up anywhere. Travelers usually have modest energy needs, and sometimes just a couple of solar panels are enough.

Think about pairing your solar panels with a power station. This combination includes an inverter, a charge controller, and a small power bank – an ideal solution for keeping your devices charged no matter where you find yourself. When solar panels and a power station work together, they create a PV generator. For more insights on selecting the right solar panels for your PV generator, refer to our article titled "Choosing Solar Panels for a PV Generator: Tips and Tools".

Start saving money with solar panels!

Check what solar panels we have in stock or get a quote for a system from our engineer.

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Andrey Gorichenski
Senior Editor

Andrey had been a news editor and freelance writer for a number of medias before joining A1SolarStore team. Climate change and its impact on people's lives has always been among his interests and it partially explains his degree in Philosophy and Ethics.

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