Last updated: December 09, 2013
LCD vs LED vs Plasma 2013: Power Consumption and Electricity Cost
As shown in the chart, the power consumption of a plasma television is higher than an LED television. The difference is more noticeable for big televisions.
A plasma TV consume significantly more power than an LED TV because each gas cell need to be excited enough to produce a bright color. In an LED display, the light is independent and shared across all the pixels so a more efficient way to produce the light can be used. You can learn more about how they work here.
The chart displays the average advertised power consumption for the 2013 models. This is the average case scenario; the power consumption varies depending on the content viewed and the settings of the television. The TV consumes a lot more power when displaying a very bright white screen compared to a dark one, especially for Plasma televisions.
The next chart shows the yearly cost if the television is watched 5 hours per day for 365 days, at a cost of electricity of 0.11$ per kWh.
As you can see in the chart, a plasma television does cost more electricity than an LED TV. However, the resulting cost at the end of the year is not very big, about 10$ more for a 50" plasma. On a 5 years period, the total amount saved would be 50$.
As mentioned previously here, a plasma TV cost on average 350$ less than an LED TV for the same size. Based on this, it will take 35 years for the total cost of ownership (initial cost + electricity cost) of a plasma television to surpass its LED counterpart.
Electricity Cost Calculator
Use the following calculator to know how much will cost you a television in electricity over a year and compare it to an LED or Plasma TV.
Plasma vs LED 2013
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May 11 2013
Your data on plasma TV power consumption is incorrect or incomplete. I have a 50" plasma. I measure 59 watts with black screen. Power varies with brightness. At maximum and white, it is 450 watts - but that never happens. Under normal viewing averaged over several hours, power consumption is around 110 watts. Even less than the 40" and 32" LCD TVs I own. Your power consumption should include average viewing when including plasmas. LCD power doesn't vary with program material since it's light is always on. Plasma is only lit when and where it needs to create light.
Yes, this is true. The good way to interpret this data is the worst case scenario. Our data is from the advertised power consumption, not the measured average. Note that some LED will change the brightness of the backlight automatically so this apply to them also. The problem though is the power consumption of a TV varies a lot depending on the content viewed and the settings (especially brightness), so we still prefer to use the advertised numbers. We updated the article to reflect your point, thanks.
Mar 29 2013
I am confused about the difference between LCD and LED. So many top range Samsungs say LED because they have Edge or back light Led. Yet the reviews say they are LCDs and not LEDs! So therefore what is a real LED television?
Technically, what we refer as an LED TV is also an LCD TV, but with a different backlight. The screen is the same technology; Liquid Crystal Display (LCD). Old school LCDs used a CCFL backlight to create the light. In an LED TV, instead of the CCFL, it is LEDs. This is why a lot of literature will use LCD and LED interchangeably, even if the real term of an LED TV is an LCD TV with an LED backlight. It is just easier to say LED TV instead.
Aug 12 2013
With regards to power consumption, you really pay twice, once for the running of the TV, and a second time to cool the house with an air conditioner. However if you live in an area with cold winters, the TV can help heat the house, and the home heating cost would be reduced. So if you live in a hot southern climate, power consumption is a much bigger issue than if you live in the colder north.
Indeed, it really depends on your climate whether power consumption is an issue or not.
Nov 29 2012
Does a Plasma TV also generates more heat?
Yes, a Plasma TV also generates more heat than an LED or LCD TV. Practically all the electricity consumption is transformed into heat, even the light produced will be transformed into heat eventually. So the heat generated is in the same proportion as the electricity usage, about 3 times more heat for a Plasma TV than an LED TV.
Feb 25 2013
If plasma generates more heat, does it cause a problem on the TV?
By itself under normal usage, no. However, on a very hot day (110F +), if the TV is turned on for a very long time and if it doesn't have space to breathe (like in a closed furniture), it could start to overheat and possibly damage itself. Otherwise, do not worry about it.
Aug 10 2013
One thing not mentioned here: the massive amount of heat a plasma generates can mess with your thermostat, especially if they are in the same room. My central air will run constantly when my plasma tv is running, thereby making the rest of the house cold (and increasing the electricity bill).
Yes, thanks for pointing that out.
Nov 10 2013
How much power is consumed when a lcd/led is turned off?
About 0.5W, so only $0.10 per year. It is really negligible.
Nov 28 2013
Do plasma TVs of today use less energy than those from say 2007? Would having an old plasma change the equation at all?
Yes, 2013 plasma TVs use about 30% less energy than 5 years ago.
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