What size inverter do I need to run a TV?

The size of the inverter you need to run a TV depends on the amount of power that the TV uses, which itself, depends on the size and type of the TV.

For example, will a 400-watt inverter run a tv?

Yes, a 400-watt inverter can probably run any TV, especially the newer and more efficient ones. However, unless you’re trying to run other appliances as well, such as a PS4 for example, you probably don’t need that much inverter power.

So, what size inverter do you need to run the TV?

In this article, I’ll show you how to determine the power usage of your TV and how to use that to determine the size of the inverter you need to run it.

What size inverter do I need to run a TV?

In general, a 200W inverter is enough to run any LCD, LED, or OLED TV, as these TVs are power-efficient and will generally use less than 150 Watts of power. However, any plasma TV that’s over 40in, will probably require an inverter that’s rated at 300 to 400 Watts.

To give you an idea, the following table estimates the power usage of your different TV sizes and types, and the size of the inverter required to run them:

TV size TV Type Average Power Usage in Watts (W) Required Inverter Size in Watts (W)
18in

 

 

 

LCD 25-32 W 75 W
LED 18-22 W 75 W
CRT 60-75 W 150 W
24in

 

 

 

LCD 36-44 W 100 W
LED 24-28 W 100 W
CRT 75-95 W 200 W
32in

 

 

 

LCD 50-60 W 100 W
LED 35-40 W 100 W
OLED 45-50 W 100 W
Plasma 100-130 W 200 W
40in

 

 

 

LCD 60-70 W 150 W
LED 40-50 W 100 W
OLED 55-65 W 150 W
Plasma 120-160 W 300 W
50in

 

 

 

LCD 75-90 W 200 W
LED 50-60 W 150 W
OLED 70-80 W 150 W
Plasma 150-200 W 300 W
60in

 

 

 

LCD 90-110 W 200 W
LED 60-75 W 150 W
OLED 90-100 W 200 W
Plasma 200-250 W 400 W
Estimated inverter size to run different types and sizes of TVs.

Please note that the values provided in the table are estimates. A simple rule of thumb to determine the size of the inverter that can run your TV is to multiply the power usage of your TV by 1.5:

Inverter Watts (W) > TV Watts (W) x 1.5

The 1.5 factor is due to the fact that inverters are generally 70% to 90% efficient.

For example, according to EnergyStar, this 42in LED TV from Panasonic uses around 60 Watts of power when it’s turned on. An inverter that could run this TV should have a Continuous Power rating of more than 90 watts (60W x 1.5).

Now, a 200W inverter can definitely run this tv, however, since bigger inverters are more expensive, and we wouldn’t really need 200 watts of inverter power, we can go with a 100W inverter such as the Ampeak or the Energizer 100W inverters.

In any case, the most accurate way to find the right inverter size is to first determine the exact power usage of your TV.

This brings us to the next section.

How many watts does your tv use?

The amount of power that a TV uses generally depends on its:

  • Size (in.)
  • Display technology (LCD, LED, Plasma, etc..)
  • Model

And in general, there are 3 ways to determine that power usage:

  • Looking at the specification sticker on the TV
  • Using the EnergyGuide Label that came with your TV
  • Using an electricity monitoring device

Let’s start with the easiest method:

1- Looking at the specification sticker on your TV:

On the back of your TV, you’ll usually find a technical specification sticker that provides all sorts of information about your TV. Once you locate the specification label, look for the power usage of your TV in Watts (W).

For example, the following is a specification label from a 32″ LCD TV:

What size inverter do I need to run a TV

You can see that the manufacturer has specified 65 Watts as the power usage of the TV.

If you can’t find the spec label, the next option is to use the EnergyGuide label.

2- Using the EnergyGuide Label of your TV:

TV models that were manufactured after 2011 come with an EnergyGuide (yellow & black) label that estimates the annual energy consumption (kWh) of the TV. This annual energy consumption estimate can be used to calculate the power usage (watts) of the TV through the following formula:

Power Usage (W) = Yearly Energy consumption (Wh) ÷ (Daily Run Time (hours) x 365)

For example, here’s an EnergyGuide label that came with a 50″ LED TV:

What size inverter do I need to run a TV

In the label, the manufacturer estimates that if the TV is on for 5 hours a day, It’ll consume 94.3 kWh (94300 Wh) of energy per year. Using these 2 pieces of information, we can determine the power usage of the TV:

Power Usage (W) = Yearly Energy consumption (Wh) ÷ (Daily Run Time (hours) x 365)

Power Usage (W) = 94300 Wh ÷ (5 hours x 365)

Power Usage (W) = 51.67 Watts

So, this particular TV uses approximately 52 Watts of power when it’s on.

If the EnergyGuide label of your TV is nowhere to be found, your last option is to use an electricity monitoring device.

3- Using an electricity monitoring device:

The most accurate way to determine the power usage of your TV is to use an electricity monitoring device such as the Kill-A-Watt meter.

All you have to do is plug your TV into the monitoring device, and plug the device into the electrical outlet. The device will then measure and display the power usage of your TV in Watts.

Another advantage to these devices is that they can accurately measure the energy consumption (kWh) of your TV over a certain period of time.

Here’s a visual example of how this works:

For a more thorough explanation of these methods, please refer to this page: How many watts does a TV use?

As mentioned above, once the power usage of your TV is determined, you can use the following formula to determine the size of the inverter that you need to run it:

Inverter Watts (W) > TV Watts (W) x 1.5

What size inverter to run a tv and PS4?

Since PlayStation 4 consoles use between 150 and 200 watts in gaming mode and assuming your TV uses 50 to 100 watts of power, you would need a 400-500 Watt inverter to run both.

However, make sure to check the power usage of your TV by using one of the methods mentioned above, and then add 200W (PS4 power usage), and multiply everything by 1.5:

Inverter Watts (W) > (TV Watts (W) + 200 W) x 1.5

For example, let’s say your TV uses 65 watts of power:

Inverter Watts (W) > (TV Watts (W) + 200 W) x 1.5

Inverter Watts (W) > (65 W + 200 W) x 1.5

Inverter Watts (W) > (265 W) x 1.5

Inverter Watts (W) > 397.5 Watts

In this particular case, a 400W inverter such as the Ampeak 400W inverter would be a good fit.

How long will a tv run on an inverter?

The amount of time for which an inverter can run a TV depends on the power usage of the TV and the usable capacity of the battery.

For example, a 50W TV can run on a 12V-100AH lithium battery and inverter for up to 20 hours. However, the same 50W TV would only run for 8 to 10 hours on a typical car battery before it completely depletes it.

Related: How long will a 100ah battery run a tv?

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Younes
Younes

Hi! My name is Younes. I'm an electrical engineer and a renewable energy enthusiast. I created renewablewise.com with a mission of delivering digestible content and information to the people who seek it.

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