Projector Vs. TV Power Consumption

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Updated January 23, 2023

Many come across a split path when hunting for the best TVs: projector or TV? Each has its merits, demerits, and own set of characteristics. One significant point of debate deals with the projector vs tv power consumption levels. This may be helpful as well if you are deciding on a conference room TV vs projector. Here, we’ll outline the power usage of each display type and the overall cost of ownership. And when shopping for TVs, it’s also good to know what separates an outdoor TV from an indoor TV.


  • Generally, projectors consume more energy than TVs, no matter the picture quality.
  • An increasing amount of modern projector options, like LED projectors, reduce energy costs.
  • Older-style TVs, like Plasma TVs, use nearly as much energy as a projector screen.

Differences Between Projector vs TV Energy Consumption

It’s typically recognized that when comparing a projector screen to an LED TV, you will most likely have a lower electric bill by going with the LED. However, if it’s a contest between projectors and Plasma TVs, the numbers begin to look the same. This difference is because Plasma TVs are known to use close to 70% more power than your typical LED TV. That being said, how much power does TV use? The answer depends on several factors, such as screen size and features.

If you want to read more about plasma TVs, we greatly compare DLP TV vs plasma TV.

Insider Tip

If you want to measure the amount of power you are using, you can check with a watt-measuring device.

Wattage Per Hour

A standard projector uses anywhere from 150-800 watts per hour, with the average coming in at around 300. In comparison, TVs average between 80-400 watts per hour. But for either viewing experience, it greatly depends on the type of display you get, the screen size, and–of course–how much you use it. LED TVs will probably use the lowest amount of watts per hour, which is why it might be helpful to check out more differences between a QLED TV vs LED. And, if you have an older TV, you may be interested in our comparison of rear projection TVs vs LCD TVs. Additionally, while the size of the TV will affect the power output, you should also remember that it affects your viewing experience as well. You can read more about this in our article TV size vs room size.

Energy Efficiency

By a rough estimate, running a projector costs $0.03/hour. Comparing this to a modern TV, which costs about $0.01/hour, it’s clear that projectors tend to hog more energy. But while an LCD projector is known to use more power, LED and Lampless projectors are now designed to be more energy-efficient. And, even though laser projectors use more energy, they have great picture quality. If you’re interested in a laser projector, then you’ll want to read our Epson LS100 review.

The same goes for TVs. LED TVs are very cost-effective for power consumption. Still, the older Plasma TVs and liquid crystal displays remain closer in energy cost to projectors.

How to Reduce Power Consumption

Suppose you own a projector and are looking to reduce the average wattage. In that case, there are specific setting configurations you might be able to use. First, check your projector for an “eco’ mode. This setting reduces the bulb’s brightness and should reduce power by close to 20%. However, keep in mind if the projector is getting hot despite the power it has, there’s a chance it may be overheating. Therefore, you’ll want to read our tips for overheating projector problems.


If energy consumption is a worry, make sure to look into the types of projector available. LCD projectors or laser projectors use much more energy-efficient than LED models or battery-powered projectors.


How do you measure a projector’s power consumption?

There is a device called an electricity usage monitor that calculates and measures the electrical cost of your projector.

How many lumens are needed to see a screen in direct sunlight?

For rooms with much ambient light, it’s recommended that you have a projecture with around 2,500 lumens to achieve sharp images. However, for a controlled environment, you’ll only need closer to 1,500 lumens.

Is an LED Projector Better Than An LED TV?

An LED TV will have brighter and clearer images and be more power-efficient. However, projectors will give you larger images and more immersive experience.

STAT: The recommended screen size for a projector is between 100”-120”. The size and quality you wish to project with will also determine the amount of watts/hour. (source)

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