How much power does a laser system need?

Laser System Power Consumption

It can be tricky to estimate how a laser system will affect your electricity bill, as different systems have different power consumption rates. 

These rates vary depending on your laser's available power (watts), how frequently the machine is used each day, and whether any peripheral equipment is used, such as an exhaust system.

However, as a rule of thumb, the cost of electricity used for laser operation is generally lower than that of an air conditioning system.


In the sections below, we describe the most important factors influencing the power consumption of a laser. 

Factors Impacting Power Consumption

The total power consumption of a laser system depends on three main factors:

Actual Processing Time

This is the amount of time the laser takes to complete a cutting and/or engraving job. In practice, 20-50% of the processing time is spent on preparing workpieces, as well as placing and removing them from the laser's work area. During this time frame, Trotec laser systems are on standby. Hence, they only require minimal power due to their built-in energy-saving function.

Laser Power Used

Each laser has a maximum power level (i.e. wattage) that can be used to process workpieces. However, that figure varies depending on the specific laser system configuration. For instance, a 20W laser has lower peak consumption than a 100W laser, if both are operating at maximum power. It is important to note, however, that Trotec laser system power levels can be easily adjusted. Therefore, a 100W laser, for example, need not be consistently emit 100W of power.

Peripheral Equipment

Using an exhaust system or a cooling unit (required for some lasers) also directly affects power consumption. Trotec laser systems are equipped with an energy-saving function, which regulates the laser as well as the exhaust system in order to save power.

Example: A Speedy 400 (80W) System

Under specific conditions, a Speedy 400's power consumption can be equal to that of 2 desktop computers

To provide context, we have made calculations for the following example:

  • A Speedy 400 (80W) laser system
  • The laser process workpieces for 2 hours each day
  • 50% of the time, the maximum laser power (80W) is applied, and 40W is used the remaining 50% of the time

The resulting power consumption is approximately 50 kWh per month, which is roughly equal to the power consumption of two desktop computers.

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