It’s a close call. Plasma tvs often use more power because its pixels light up individually when they need to appear on screen while LCD screens have a constant fluorescent backlight that blocks out pixels that should not be lit up on the screen (sort of opposite). LCDs are often considered 2-4 times more energy efficient than the plasma. But, when there is a background screen of constant color or static electricity, the LCD uses more energy because all of the light is working. It also seems that LCDs tend to be more efficient in smaller sizes and as the televisions get larger the energy efficiency becomes much closer.
It’s a tough call and one that depends on what size screen you will get. The best energy saver when you’re going big is a projector, which uses half as much electricity as either plasma or LCD – but if you’re looking at those tvs, you probably want the picture quality!
Just make sure to recycle it when you’re done and you’ll probably have a bigger impact than the difference in energy savings. (earth911.org for recycling centers near you) Or just offset your emissions by driving a Prius! 🙂
If you are looking for efficiency, stick with your old CRL tvs. LCD and plasmas use a lot of electricity.
According to many sources, a flat screen 42 inch plasm, with only several hours of use a day, can use as much energy as a large refrigerator! “Powering a fancy TV and full-on entertainment system—with set-top boxes, game consoles, speakers, DVDs and digital video recorders—can add nearly $200 to a family’s annual energy bill,” (Rebecca Smith, Wall Street Journal).
“Smith recommends green consumers consider the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) models, which typically uses less energy than comparable plasma sets. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a 28-inch conventional cathode-ray tube (CRT) set uses about 100 watts of electricity. A 42-inch LCD set might consume twice that amount, while plasma could use five times as much, depending on the model and the programming. For the largest screen sizes (60 inches and up), projection TVs are the most energy efficient, clocking in at 150-200 watts—significantly less than the energy a plasma set would use.”
Sony’s 32-inch Bravia KDL-32JE1 LCD model is touted as the world’s greenest. But even this one can’t compare to the energy savings of an old CRT tv. My recommendation, fix your old tv before buying a new one!
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