Do Solar Panels Cause Glare for Neighbors?

Concerned that your solar system might be creating a glaring problem for your neighbors? It is a common concern for homeowners that install solar systems. After all, no one wants their rooftop solar panels to become a neighborhood nuisance!

Fortunately, you can put this worry to bed. Your solar panels are not likely to blind your neighbors anytime soon. Our team at Solar Bear Orlando explains why.

Solar Panels & Glare

The amount of light that is reflected off a solar panel’s surface depends on the amount of sunlight hitting its surface, its surface reflectivity, geographic location, time of year, solar panel orientation, and cloud cover.

“Glare” is defined as a continuous source of excessive brightness. It occurs when sunlight is reflected off a flat, shiny surface. Solar panels are flat and somewhat shiny, but they are designed to capture light, not reflect it.

High-quality photovoltaic solar panels cause less glare than standard home window glass. Research shows that they reflect less light than snow, white concrete, and white rooftops.

To maximize light absorption, solar modules are coated with anti-reflective materials. Plus, solar panels are often textured with tiny indentations that lessen the amount of sunlight that is reflected. Some solar panels are even designed with additional light-trapping properties that help boost energy production while reducing glare. 

Reflectivity and Solar Panel Glare

Solar panels may reflect some light, but how much? Not much! Since solar panels convert light into electricity, they perform best when they absorb as much light as possible and don’t reflect it. This is why to improve their efficiency; they are coated with anti-reflective paint.

Glare Won’t Be Visible to Neighbors

Let’s say, just for the sake of argument, that your rooftop solar panels did reflect some light or create a glare. For it to be an issue for your neighbors, the glare would have to be visible, right?

For your neighbors to see any light reflecting from your rooftop array, they would have to be looking down on the tops of your solar panels. For this to happen, their homes would need to be at least one story above your rooftop.

But that isn’t all. Glare only appears when the sun is at the right height and your neighbor would have to be within the angle of reflection from the solar panels. With a solar panel array, glare is more likely to be above your neighbor’s sightline, even those homes that might be taller than yours.

Preventing Solar Panel Glare

Since light reflection can be a nuisance, some homeowners’ associations require proof that rooftop solar arrays will not cause glare.

Proper siting, angling, and orientation can prevent any glare from rooftop solar arrays.

Further, it is important that you have high-quality photovoltaic panels installed. Monocrystalline silicon cells are the best option to reduce reflection and glare.

You may also want to consider having black frames installed around your solar panel cells. These frames will help absorb any photons that manage to escape from your cells, preventing them from hitting a reflective surface and causing glare.

Finally, you can have your solar panels installed on adjustable mounts that allow you to angle them away from areas where people gather like the patio or sidewalk. By angling them away from these areas, you can minimize the amount of reflected light coming from them.

Orlando Solar Installations

Though not common, in some cases solar panel glare can become a nuisance. By choosing high-quality solar panels and adjustable mounts, you can minimize any reflection and ensure that your solar panels aren’t causing issues for your neighbors.

If you are planning on installing solar at your Orlando home and have questions about solar panel glare, give our friendly team at Solar Bear Orlando a call at (727) 471-7442!