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What makes the best energy-efficient TV? A top-tier TV’s overall energy consumption and carbon footprint depend on how often and how long the TV stays on and your electricity sources. In general, the most energy-efficient TVs sold in the US are Energy Star-certified and may also come with additional ratings such as Green Guard certification.
Modern flat-screen 4K TVs don’t have to sacrifice brightness or picture quality for energy efficiency. LED-backlit LCD screens and OLED panel televisions use fewer watts per inch than plasma TVs and CRT displays. Finally, an eco-friendly model should have plenty of customizable smart features and efficient modes, like automatic brightness control and sleep mode.
And if you’re interested in using other features with your television, you’ll want to learn how do I mirror my phone to my TV.
You might want a new, eco-friendly TV to use with compatible devices such as game consoles and DVD players. In many cases, the efficient choice can also provide improved gaming performance, picture quality, and resolution. And, you can enhance it further when you put internet on a TV.
Keep reading to learn more about the most energy-efficient TV models and how to choose the best one.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: It is ideal for users who would appreciate a smart TV that can also be controlled through voice and has two HDMI ports for flexible connectivity. The display also comes with a V-Gaming engine to optimize its settings for gameplay and features a Full-Array LED backlight for good contrast.
This Vizio D-Series Full HD 1080p Smart TV is a 40-inch display with crystal clear imagery, and a Full-Array LED backlight that delivers superior light uniformity and picture performance. The display’s IQ Picture Processor has excellent picture processing and can also be integrated with Smart Home Devices. The display also has a bezel-less design that gives it a modern appeal. However, it does not support HDR content.
The display has a decent power consumption rating of only 75W, so buyers shouldn’t expect their power costs to shoot up after making their purchase. This Vizio TV has also been optimized for gaming since it ships with a V-Gaming engine. This automatically optimizes its picture mode for gaming and improves its response time so players can enjoy an even faster rate of play. As far as connectivity is concerned, the display features two HDMI ports and comes with a built-in WatchFree+ streaming platform that does not require any subscription or fees.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: Picture accuracy is great thanks to its 4K picture resolution, and its impressive contrast ratio makes it perfect for dark room viewing. It also has three HDMI ports for flexible connectivity.
The Samsung Q60A is a Quantum HDR display that delivers epic visuals and also has an impressive color gamut. The display boasts a strong 4K resolution which is perfect for detail, and with a good contrast ratio of 4653:1, its blacks look pretty good even in a dark room. Integrating this TV with a Smart Home setting is also pretty easy to do, and since it also features built-in support for voice control, owners will be able to speak out voice commands without having to reach for the remote. Still, its lack of support for a Variable Refresh Rate is likely to have gamers shy away from it.
Speaking of the remote, owners won’t have to bother with buying batteries for this TV since its remote is solar-powered, and it also comes with an Auto Power Off feature that’ll have it automatically shut down after extended periods of inactivity. The display’s use of Motion Xcelerator technology will ensure that fast action scenes remain as smooth as can be, and since it also comes with up to three HDMI ports, users will be able to put together a wide range of simultaneous connections.
Award: BEST FOR CONNECTIVITY OPTIONS
WHY WE LIKE IT: It has a wide range of connectivity options and has Alexa built-in for remote-free voice commands. The sound quality is also pretty good, and its thin, bezel-less design makes it a great addition to the modern home.
Released in 2021, this 65-inch Amazon Fire TV Omni Series is a 4K HDR TV that delivers epic visuals and also features Alexa built-in so that owners can control it by voice. The display has a very sleek and attractive build, with a wide array of connectivity options that include an Ethernet port, a total of four HDMI ports, a USB input, an Optical in-port, and a headphone port. As most would expect, it runs on the Fire TV platform, which hosts an expansive collection of popular streaming apps such as Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu. Still, its 60Hz refresh rate is just not high enough to satisfy gamers.
Its 63 W power consumption is pretty low compared to other models in its category, so despite all its features, there shouldn’t be any worries about the power bill shooting up. The display’s audio is also pretty good, thanks to support for Dolby Digital Plus, and its thin profile and bezel-less design make it the perfect addition to a modern or contemporary home. It also features a microphone off switch to prevent any unauthorized use, and with a set of two 8-watt speakers that have been strategically placed, its audio output is also pretty good. The TV also has a decent internal storage capacity of 16GB, so it should be able to host a good selection of apps and TV platforms.
Award: BEST FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY
WHY WE LIKE IT: It has a reasonably low power rating of only 53 Watts and has pretty wide viewing angles that facilitate group viewing. Its high refresh rate makes it great for gaming, and it also gets bright enough to overcome glare.
The Samsung QN85 is a 4K UHD TV that delivers impressive picture quality and has a total of six speakers for 3D surround sound. The display has a native refresh rate of 120Hz, allowing it to deliver smooth, fast action sequences and keep screen tearing at bay. The display is both G-Sync and FreeSync compatible, and since it also has pretty wide viewing angles, it is also ideal for group viewing. The QN85 also gets bright enough to overcome any glare, and courtesy of its NEO Quantum Processor 4K, the display can also upscale lower-resolution content to 4K quality. Unfortunately, it is not great for dark room viewing because of its low native contrast.
With a power consumption rating of only 53 Watts, the QN85 is easily one of the most energy-efficient TVs from Samsung. To deliver breathtaking pictures, the display has support for Quantum HDR, and since it also comes with Alexa built-in, owners will be able to issue voice commands to change channels or search for content without having to reach for the remote. Speaking of which, its remote is also solar-powered, and its Tizen Smart OS is also pretty easy to navigate,
Award: BEST FOR GAMERS
WHY WE LIKE IT: Its 83-inch screen offers a lot of screen real estate, and with both FreeSync and G-Sync compatibility, it is an excellent choice for gamers. The display also has four HDMI 2.1 ports for expanded connectivity and a rapid response time for quick reactivity.
Announced in 2022, the LG Evo G2 is a pretty sizeable 83-inch screen that comes with Alexa built-in and also has an impressive 120Hz refresh rate for buttery smooth transitions. The display has a brilliant 4K resolution for impeccable picture quality. Also, it features three USB inputs and four HDMI 2.1 ports that are compatible with modern gaming consoles such as the Xbox Series X and PS 5. This display also gets pretty bright thanks to its Brightness Booster Max feature, and since it also has an infinite contrast ratio, its blacks and whites are very well-calibrated. Still, the lack of a stand has seriously disadvantaged users who would like to place it on top of a platform instead of mounting it on the wall.
Its large screen size will have it use up to 84 watts, but its thin side profile will allow users to mount it flush to the wall. At about 0.24 inches, its borders are also pretty thin, giving it a very modern appeal. This display also has support for HDR content and wide viewing angles that make it great for group viewing. The TV’s near-perfect contrast ratio makes it ideal for dark room viewing, and with a webOS interface that hosts a wide selection of streaming apps to choose from, users will always have access to a wide range of content to enjoy.
Efficient TVs have an efficient display type and light source to help reduce power consumption. They may also have additional features that help yield energy savings while maintaining screen brightness and image quality. Compared to conventional models with plasma screens or CRT displays, the most efficient models use less than half as many watts of electricity per inch of screen size. Efficient TVs usually carry an Energy Star rating. They use about 160 watts of electricity or less when powered on and show a typical movie or TV show. Additionally, we have some great energy-saving tips for television you can check out.
Unlike vehicles and appliances, such as heaters and air conditioners that tend to be energy hogs, the most energy-saving TVs aren’t radically different from typical high-end modern LED and OLED televisions.
However, compared to TVs in general, the most energy-efficient models tend to have automatic brightness control and energy-saving mode options that reduce unnecessary power consumption. The power consumption of a television varies from model to model and how it’s used. The estimated range is between 15-150 watts for standard TVs, and about 12-400 watts for plasma or LCD/LED TVs. If the TV itself has an energy-saving feature, this number will typically be lower as it can reduce how much power a TV uses. On average, a modern LCD/LED TV can use anywhere from 30 to 250 watts of power when it’s turned on and displaying an image, while older TVs may use up to 400 watts. Some energy-efficient models can use as little as 15 watts of power when in sleep mode or powered off.
TVs can use various displays, including CRT, CCT-backlit LCD, and plasma screens. Most Energy Star-certified TVs use LED screens or OLED display technology. Because plasma screen TVs use more watts per inch at a given brightness level, they rarely figure among the most power-saving TV models on the market. Likewise, with CRT displays. Vacuum tube-based CRT TVs consume more electricity than newer LED and OLED models.
Most TVs on the market today (like Samsung TVs) use backlit LCD panels. The most efficient LCD models differ from conventional models mainly in the type of backlight illumination they use. More efficient TVs generally use an LED backlight source rather than the conventional CCFL fluorescent lights traditionally found in large-screen TVs. Although, you won’t find much brightness from the Hisense A6G.
The most efficient TV models can offer outstanding image quality, lifelike, vivid colors, and deep blacks like other new TVs. Most of the top-rated energy-saving TVs also work with features like Dolby Vision HDR or a similar system and are compatible with smart home devices, game consoles, and various input sources.
Most current-model TVs still come with an analog audio input and coaxial input for a cable hookup. The most efficient TV types may also employ advanced connectivity options like HDMI 2.1 ports, ethernet ports, and low-energy Bluetooth 5.0.
Like other TVs, power-saving models receive electronic signals from an input source such as a cable box, DVD player, built-in streaming device, or mobile device and translate the signals received into a visible moving image on the TV screen. The most energy-efficient televisions differ primarily in how they generate the light for the display images.
TVs can use various display technologies, including Cathode Ray Tube (CRT), LCD, plasma screen, and OLED or “Organic Light-Emitting Diode.”
Most energy-star certified TVs use LCD or OLED screens. Older CRT displays consume about twice as much electricity per unit of screen size, and large plasma screens can use several times as many watts of power as their LED-lit counterparts.
LCD TVs generate an image by manipulating the orientation of liquid crystals held in front of a light source. The power consumption of an LCD depends on the size of the screen, the brightness, and the type of light source. Most energy-saving models use LED backlighting.
OLED screens, generally found on larger and more expensive TVs with 4K or higher screen resolution, use organic, color-changing diodes instead of a backlit LCD panel. Unlike an LCD TV, where the backlight is always on, an OLED screen’s diodes can turn off to show true black. This gives OLED models an advantage in terms of contrast and dynamic range. It also means their average power consumption depends more on the brightness level and type of image.
OLED screens use slightly more power at high brightness levels than LED-backlit LCD screens. However, they may use less energy at lower brightness levels.
Samsung’s QLED models use a modified LCD that uses quantum dot technology to augment the backlighting for individual pixels. These TVs can save energy by dimming the adjustable backlight.
For a look at TVs with adjustable backlights and power features, check out our reviews of the LG BX OLED and the Samsung Q6FN QLED review.
If you’re replacing an older TV, you might want to consider the energy efficiency of new models in the interest of reducing household electricity use and carbon emissions. The most energy-saving new TVs use barely more power than a typical light bulb. In contrast, older models can use 500 watts during a typical TV show. Switching from a plasma TV with a 65-inch screen to a newer, low-power consumption TV could potentially save hundreds of dollars per year on electricity.
Power consumption may be a primary consideration if you want to add a TV to a custom or off-grid electrical system. If you plan to power your TV using solar panels, a storage battery or deep-cycle batteries, and an inverter, you’ll need to know the peak wattage and average power. The best new TV choice for RVs and boats will likely be one of the most energy-saving compact television models you’ll find.
Compared to older TVs, new models use much less electricity overall and offer various improvements in versatility and convenience. New, low-electricity TVs using LED screens can reduce your home’s annual electricity consumption, especially if you’re replacing a power-hungry large-screen plasma TV or an old CRT model.
New model televisions not only use less electricity when playing, but they also draw less “phantom power” on standby mode. Older designs averaged about 1.2 watts even when turned off, whereas new models use as little as 0.3 watts in standby mode.
New TVs also support higher-resolution formats and improved image quality. Compared to older televisions, some of the most efficient models offer 4K ultra-HD resolution, rich color, and enhanced dynamic range.
The latest eco-friendly TVs can incorporate smart features, such as Roku TV or Google Assistant, and offer options like a USB port or Ethernet cable port, letting them pair with a greater range of connected devices.
According to US EPA life cycle analysis results, a typical home television lasts about seven to eight years. Energy-efficient units nearly all use LCD or OLED displays, which theoretically enables them to last longer than the average TV. Most LCD screens have a rated lifespan of 20,000 to 50,000 hours. OLED models may be too new for experts to have reached a verdict on their lifespan, but as with LED-backlit LCD screens, the light-emitting diodes can last a long time.
Most televisions reach the end of their useful life due to obsolescence rather than wear-and-tear. Users might replace their TVs to install a higher-resolution model or because newer devices no longer work with the older model.
Unlike LED-backlit LCD models, OLED TVs can experience problems with screen burn-in, where an image becomes semi-permanent on the screen. Experts recommend using a screen saver and avoiding prolonged static content to help prevent screen burn issues. The most common faults on older LCD models include “dead” pixels and uneven backlight illumination due to the gradual loss in brightness that can happen with older diodes.
Various considerations can help you decide on the best energy-saving television for your needs. Factors to consider may include the size of the space, the types of entertainment you prefer, the input sources you use, and whether you need smart TV features or connected home features. Efficient TV types come in a wide range of sizes and price ranges, though larger screens tend to use more energy, all else being equal.
If you plan to connect a new TV to your home stereo or surround-sound speakers, the TV’s built-in audio quality may not be as important. Instead, you’ll want to make sure to look for the appropriate ports for analog audio input or make sure of wireless compatibility.
The best screen size for comfortable viewing depends on your preferences and the size of the space. In general, a larger screen is more comfortable to view from a greater distance. However, size matters when it comes to energy consumption, and larger screens tend to use more electricity.
Another factor to consider is whether you need smart TV features and what types of connected devices you use. If you want to connect a newer gaming console, you’ll want to look for an HDMI 2.1 port, for example.
If you’re looking for the most efficient TVs to use in an off-grid power installation, you might also want to consider factors such as the TV’s weight, durability, and compatibility with 12-volt power systems.