Electrical Usage of an LED TV Vs. Projector

By Timothy Smithee

LED TVs are usually the greener option, but not always.
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When shopping for a television for your business, it's wise to consider how much energy the TV will use. In many business environments the television may be on whenever the business is open. Small differences in power consumption add up over time. Generally, LED TVs use less energy than projector models, but there are several things to consider.

LED TV Power Consumption

The main factor affecting an LED TV's power use is the size of the screen. Among efficient Energy Star-certified LED models, a 19-inch set consumes as few as 15 watts per hour, while a 54-inch LED TV uses uses more than four times as much: at least 66 watts per hour. The maximum hourly power draw of larger sets can be 80 watts to 120 watts. One massive 90-inch model uses 381 watts per hour.

Projector Power Consumption

The main factor affecting projector TV electricity use is the wattage of the bulb. While bulb wattage is not the only indicator of a projector's brightness, it is a factor in both the quality and brightness of the TV image. Brightness is indicated by the lumens output of the TV. Projector TV electricity use ranges from 150 watts to 800 watts per hour; models commonly use about 300 watts per hour.

Lampless Projector Power Consumption

Some new projectors feature a lampless design, which combines lasers and LEDs as the light source. These TVs have power requirements similar to standard projectors. LED-only lampless projectors have electricity usage rates similar to large LED TVs.

Other Considerations

An LED TV's power use is determined by its image. Images with lots of black use less power, while images with lots of white will require more power. Specifications may note the typical and/or maximum power consumption. Projector TVs use a consistent amount of electricity regardless of the image; they typically have an economy mode that dims the image to reduce power consumption by around 20 percent. Much of the extra energy used by projectors is released as heat, which is beneficial in a space being heated, but costly in an area being cooled.

How to Choose

When a smaller image is sufficient, an LED TV is the better choice in terms of electricity usage. With larger images, an LED TV may use less power than a projector TV, but the difference is slight. Depending on the model and image size, a projector TV may use less power than an LED set. Purchase price, replacement bulb cost (if applicable), mounting locations, and ambient light in the room are other factors that may affect the purchase decision more than power usage.