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How to Calculate LED Display Power Consumption?

by | Jun 24, 2020 | Blogs | 0 comments

While searching for an appropriate LED display screen, power consumption turns out to be one of the important factors. While size, pixel pitch and resolution play a significant role in the selection, power efficiency finalizes the decision with the certainty of how much electricity cost they will be spending.

To begin with, buyers are required to determine the input voltage and current utilized by the LED screens. Based on a study, the best or ideal input current is around 20mA while the voltage for an LED display should be 5V. But, there are some evidences ascertaining the fact that current of the LED cannot go up to 20mA while the power consumption is expected to be 0.1W (20mA x 5V). Other than that, below are some important considerations to look at while calculating electricity consumption by the LED screens:

energy saving led display

Power Consumption Indicators

Some of the worth considering factors explaining power consumption for the LEDs are:

  • Maximum Utilization

LED displays used to produce visual images from the input source with the help of individual diodes or pixels using different colors and intensities. When it comes to creating a full black screen, diodes do not work in any way whereas, for a white screen, all get to the work and stay at their maximum until needed.

According to the experts, maximum power consumption refers to a situation when the display screen works on its full power with brightness to its optimum for creating full white content. The power utilized so measured is considered to be at its maximum with small margin for environmental factors.

  • Black Level Power Utilization

It is a type of power consumption that enables other components, except for LED, to work without creating content. In other words, diodes are off while the receiver cards and drivers are at work and therefore, utilize some energy.

  • Standby Power Consumption

When the LED display is in standby mode, the same components get into the power saving mode and still need some power to keep working. This power consumption is quite below the black level. A worth mentioning fact is that content is not necessarily be white or black, it is also in different colors based on the purpose for which it is installed.

Factors Affecting Power Consumption of an LED Display

After getting to know about power consumption indicators, below are some factors to take into consideration:

  • Time scheduling: LED display power consumption can be controlled with the help of a software application. Users can also adjust brightness settings with respect to the need of the time, thereby ensuring the best display images in the result.
  • Light sensor: Referred to as the photosensitive devices, light sensors are responsible to measure brightness level in the surroundings so as to let the LED display to adjust its brightness accordingly. They enable users to set brightness threshold and behavior curves so that viewers can have a good viewing experience.
  • Attenuation Characteristics: After working for a certain time period, the brightness level will start to decrease. This causes inconsistencies in the color formation as well as brightness attenuation of green, blue and red LEDs. With 1000 hours of power i.e. 20.A, red attenuation must be below 2% while green and blue attenuation must be 10% or less. This means that green and blue LEDs do not use 20mA electricity, meaning that electricity has a significant impact on attenuation characteristics.
  • Mode of Operation: LED drivers are designed to provide consistent, regulated and sufficient power supply a constant current driver (CC) or single-module solution is responsible to regulate current directly to the LED.
  • Application Power Requirements: Over the couple of years, the power-handling abilities of single-chip, white LEDs have evolved from a few milliwatts to watts. Even, their light output efficiency, usually in lumens per watt, moved from 10 lumens/watt to over 100 lumens/watt. As for the modern LED lighting, lighting may be anywhere from 1 watt to hundreds of watts. Also, remember that shape and size will be different along with the functions and features.

Electricity Consumption by LED Pixels

Theoretically, LED pixels used to work at 5 volts with 20mA current., which means that energy consumption by each pixel is 0.1 (5V x 20mA). Buyers can easily determine the total power consumption of the LED display.

Energy Saving LED Screens

Considering the need to save energy in one way the other,led display manufacturers introduced a number of energy efficient LED display screens having advanced technology. What makes these LEDs different is the voltage consumption that is as low as 2.8 volts, thereby saving around 50 percent of energy.

But the real question is, how much these LEDs can save? Based on the overall size of electronic signage and electricity rates, using an outdoor LED display with 750 watts/m2 may amount to hundreds of dollars in a year. With $2/kW of electricity rate and 7000kilowatt/year (2 m2 x 365 days x 400 w/m2 x 24 hours). So, it can be said that an LED can save up to $700 in a year, which is actually a good estimation.

Electricity Costs

Power consumption and its expenses depend upon the electricity rate, brightness level and resolution of the display screen. Below is the table showing estimations of energy consumption of outdoor and indoor LED display that can help buyers to come up with the right option they can afford based on their budget:

Display TypeMax Brightness Level (nits)Average Energy Consumption (W/m2)Average Energy Cost (Annual) (in dollars $/m2)
Indoor P4 (High-Resolution) Full-Color1800290500
Indoor P6 Full-Color1800290500
P6 (High Resolution) Outdoor Full-Color7000375650
P8 Outdoor Full-Color7000400700
P10 Outdoor Full-Color7000450790
Energy Saving P10 Outdoor Full-Color7000200350


Upon understanding the importance of power consumption and a reliable method to choose an LED display screen, it would be quite easy for buyers to come up with the right choice. So, analyze the requirements, list down options and make a decision after thorough analysis and research.

About the Author

Kris Liang

Kris Liang

Founder/LED display expert

Kiris Liang is the founder of Doitvision. 12 + years in LED visual industry. Full passion of LED, product designer & chief salesman. Looking for teammate of technical/ marketing / sales.

Connecting people relative with LED displays.

Email: kris@doitvision.net