Consumer Technology

Published on June 29th, 2012 | by Joshua S Hill


Televisions Are Getting Bigger and More Energy Efficient

June 29th, 2012 by  

The big-screen television is the pride and joy of many households the world over — poor and less so — and as the years go by, those same huge-ass televisions are getting more and more energy efficient. According to the latest rankings of the 10 efficiency leaders in three size categories, even the largest model is operating on only 64 watts. That’s less than the typical incandescent lightbulb.

The stats come courtesy of nonprofit TopTen USA, which ranked the 10 most efficient televisions in three categories: small-, medium-, and large-sized TVs. Considering that televisions in the average US household are on for 5 hours every day, it’s good to know which TV is harming the environment the least.

“Choosing the best of the best matters,” says Norman Dean, Executive Director of TopTen USA. “Few consumers realize that there is a wide range of power use even among the relatively efficient televisions that qualify for the Energy Star label.”

What’s fascinating about that statement is the examples you can find to prove it.

Let’s look at the 60-inch Sharp LC-60LE847. It’s ranked second on the list of TopTen Large TVs for June 2012, is one of 59 Energy Star–qualified televisions that size, and uses an estimated 104.5 kilowatt hours of energy each year.

That’s almost half the number of other Energy Star–qualified, 60-inch models which are using as much as 195 kilowatt hours of energy a year.

TopTen Small TVs June 2012 TopTen Medium TVs June 2012 TopTen Large TVs June 2012
1 Magnavox 26ME402V/F7 1 Samsung UN40EH5000F 1 Sharp (Aquos) LC-70LE745U
2 Magnavox 22ME601B/F7 2 Panasonic TC-L42E5 2 Sharp LC-60LE847U
3 Samsung UN26EH4000F 3 Samsung UN40EH6000F 3 Sharp (Aquos) LC -60C7450U
4 Philips 26PFL4507/F7 4 Panasonic TC-L42D30 3 Sharp (Aquos) LC-60LE745U
5 Sansui SLED2480 5 Samsung UN32D4000ND 4 Samsung UN55ES6100F
6 Insignia NS-24E730A12 6 Samsung UN32EH4000F 5 Samsung UN60ES6100F
7 Magnavox 19ME601B/F7 7 Samsung UN32D4000ND 6 Samsung UN46EH5300F
8 LG 22LS3500 8 Philips 32PFL4507/F7 7 LG 47LM6700
9 Philips 22PFL4907/F7 9 Samsung UN32EH5000F 8 Samsung UN46ES6100F
10 Philips 22PFL4507/F7 10 Philips 32PFL4907 9 Samsung UN46EH6000F
10 Panasonic TC-L47E5

Samsung led the way with 12 of the 31 televisions on the three lists, including the top 3 places on the ‘Large TVs’ list, which is a TV of 46 inches in size or greater. Magnavox topped the ‘Small TVs’ list, which is for 31-inch TVs and smaller, with Philips, Panasonic, LG, Insignia, and Sansui also nabbing good places amongst the list.

For more information, including the methodology behind the assessment, head on over to the TopTen website.

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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About the Author

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at for more.

  • Luke

    I think what we should be taking from this is not how screen size affects power consumption, but rather how the TV display method affects power consumption.

    My looking at it from this perspective – is that you can identify Plasma is the main reason people get the screen size-power consumption relationship mixed up. Plasma is the dominant display type on screens larger than ~55 inches, and boy do they guzzle them electrons. Isn’t this the reason most people see larger TV’s as consuming more electricity?

    I’m hardly sure CRT’s are relevant in today’s display method demographic – nearly all have been replaced by low cost LCD’s, which are reasonable on the power consumption.

    Currently, we’re trending towards new display technologies such as LED which has great efficiency along with a number of other technical benefits (higher contrast ratio, blacker blacks, etc). In the next 10 years the transition from LCD to LED will occur widely, and then we’ll start seeing other display technologies used, such as OLED or perhaps Active Matrix OLED.

    Can’t wait!

    • Ross

      My 40″ Samsung has a power rating on 180W. 

      These are power saving being achieved in flat panel TVs.

      • Bob_Wallace

        My sister recently bought a 55″ that pulls only 80W.

  • Ross

    Score for the EPA’s Energy Star requirements by screen area. A few years ago there were complaints about the ever larger screen sizes canceling out power savings of moving from CRTs to flat screens.  

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