How Much Power Does A Computer Monitor Use When Left Switched On?

After a period of inactivity a monitor will assume a state of hibernation, normally referred to as ‘Sleep Mode’.

Whilst in this mode the  monitor will continue to draw power unless it is switched off at the wall socket. Exactly how much power a computer monitor consumes when left switched on yet not in use depends on the make and model with large variations seen across the industry, 

The most energy efficient monitors sold in 2021 will continue to consume between 0.05 watts – 0.2 watts when a monitor has entered ‘Sleep Mode’. This is up to a 99.8% reduction in power consumed during normal use according to the Energy Star database

This is in contrast to some of the least energy efficient models which despite entering ‘Sleep Mode’ continue to draw over 13W (Apple Thunderbolt Display – 13.7W)! This might not sound a lot, but when this amount of energy is translated into a $ value it become clear this can really add up! 

Photo by Humberto Arellano on Unsplash

Which monitors consume the least power in sleep mode?

The energy use of a computer monitor is measured in Watts, with wattage values recorded against a number of operating states including ‘On Mode’, ‘Sleep Mode’ and ‘Off Mode’. 

The most energy efficient monitors of 2021 have been rated and ranked by Energy Star, the program run by various governmental bodies (EPA + DOE) to better inform consumers and recognise manufacturers for their efforts towards environmental sustainability.

The best performing monitors continue to consume only 0.08W when allowed to enter ‘Sleep Mode’, and for comparison in the table below we’ve collated power consumption data for each of the 10 most energy efficient monitors of this year. 

BrandModelMonitor SizeTypical Power ConsumptionSleep Mode Power ConsumptionOff Mode Power Consumption

How much less power does a monitor use when switched off (vs sleep mode)?

Even in the most energy efficient of monitors switching the screen off as opposed to leaving it in a Sleep state can result in 40% less energy being consumed (Hewlett Packard P174: 0.06W in ‘Off Mode’ vs 0.1W in ‘Sleep Mode’). 

In the majority of monitors however the difference between these values will be far less pronounced owing to the circuit that remains active during ‘Sleep Mode’ (to monitor the activity of the computer) requiring minimal power to function.

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