Samsung pitches Neo QLED's energy-efficient credentials

Mike Wheatley

TV shoppers who consider energy efficiency to be a priority could do a lot worse than taking a look at one of Samsung’s new Neo QLED TVs with Mini-LED backlights.


The company reckons that its new TV displays are as much as 11.6% more power efficient than the displays used on older LCD TVs.

That’s according to the company’s own internal research anyhow. Samsung said its 2021 Neo QLED TVs feature Mini-LED technology that uses light-emitting diodes which measure just 1/40th of the size of a traditional LED, enabling much more precise control over brightness and contrast. This, it said, helps to reduce the overall brightness of the screen as it means pixels that don’t need the extra visibility won’t light up.

Samsung said this technology, plus its more efficient power supply boards, helps to achieve a 25% total reduction in the energy consumption of its Neo QLED TVs. Further, the company now provides a solar-powered TV remote with its TVs, eliminating the reliance on disposable batteries.

That’s not to say you should immediately throw your existing television onto the scrap heap and rush out to buy a more energy efficient model. TVs can also be environmentally damaging if they’re not scrapped properly. It’s much better to have them recycled, of course.

But for those who do want an environmentally friendly upgrade that will hopefully reduce their electricity bill too, Samsung’s Neo QLED models are certainly an option.


That said, some might decide in favour of an OLED television instead. LG Electronics has also made a big effort to showcase its green credentials in recent years and recently published some impressive numbers regarding OLED’s use of plastic and its potential for recycling.

LG published figures in May that demonstrate how the average 65-inch OLED TV requires just 0.43 kilograms of plastic to be manufactured, versus 5.2 kg of plastic for an LCD TV of the same size. So there’s 12-times less plastic in an OLED TV than an LCD one, it claims. That’s important, LG says, because less plastic consumption translates to fewer harmful substances that are released into the atmosphere. The company said its own scientific analysis shows that OLED TV display panel production results in about 50% fewer emissions of volatile organic compounds than LCD TV panel production.

Another argument for OLED TVs is they’re more recyclable than LCD. LG said in its May disclosure that its latest OLED TV panels have achieved a 92.2% score on its Eco Index, compared to just 72% for LCD TV panels. That’s partly due to its use of recyclable iron, where possible, as well as the reduced amount of plastic.

LG’s Eco Index was first published in 2019 as a way for the company to highlight its efforts at lowering its carbon footprint, and it serves as an indicator that evaluates both recycling rates and checks if any harmful substances are used during the process.

Switzerland-based inspection, verification and testing authority SGS has also highlighted OLED’s eco-friendliness, saying last year that LG’s manufacturing process results in around 50% fewer emissions of total volatile organic compounds than LCD.

And for all Samsung’s claims of the energy-efficiency of its NeO QLED TVs, it’s well known that because OLED TVs don’t use a backlight system due to their self-emissive nature, they too use less energy than regular LCD TVs.

That said, Samsung is making a big effort on other fronts, notably the “Eco-packaging” of its TVs. Last year it announced that all new TVs it sells will be packaged in “eco-friendly corrugated cardboard” that can also be repurposed into useful bits of furniture, such as a kennel for a dog or a cat, or a magazine rack, perhaps. Samsung has various instructions on its website on how to transform its TV packaging.