Solar Panels vs. Solar Tiles: Pros and Cons

August 22, 2023

For homeowners looking to harness the power of the sun, the decision often boils down to two primary options: solar panels and solar tiles (often referred to as solar shingles).

In this article, we'll dive into the differences between these two, weigh their pros and cons, and provide insights to help you make an informed decision.

What are Solar Panels and Solar Tiles?

Solar Panels: These are the traditional photovoltaic (PV) panels that most people are familiar with. They are typically mounted on top of existing roofing materials using a racking system.

Solar Tiles: These are smaller, thin photovoltaic cells designed to look and function like conventional roofing materials. They can replace traditional shingles or tiles, allowing the entire roof to generate electricity.

Pros and Cons

Solar Panels:


1. Efficiency: Traditional solar panels are generally more efficient than solar tiles. This means they can generate more electricity per square foot.
2. Flexibility: They can be installed on various roof types and can be easily expanded or adjusted.
3. Cost: While the initial investment can be high, solar panels have been around longer, making them more competitively priced in many markets.
4. Track Record: With decades of use and development, solar panels have a proven track record of performance and durability.


1. Aesthetics: Some homeowners find them bulky and less visually appealing than solar tiles.
2. Installation: They require mounting systems which can be invasive to the roof.
3. Space: Not all roofs have the necessary space or orientation for optimal solar panel installation.

Solar Tiles:


1. Aesthetics: Solar tiles are designed to blend seamlessly with traditional roofing materials, offering a more integrated and attractive look.
2. Dual Function: They serve as both a roof and a power generator.
3. Durability: Many solar tiles are designed to be more durable than traditional roofing materials, withstanding impacts from hail or debris.
4. Installation: They can be a good option for new constructions or when a roof replacement is due.


1. Efficiency: Generally, solar tiles are less efficient than traditional solar panels.
2. Cost: The integrated design and newer technology can make solar tiles more expensive per watt than traditional panels.
3. Replacement: If a tile becomes damaged or malfunctions, replacing it can be more complex than replacing a panel.

How to Choose the Right Option for You

1. Budget: If you're looking for a more cost-effective solution and are less concerned about aesthetics, solar panels might be the way to go.
2. Roof Condition: If your roof needs replacing soon, integrating solar tiles could be a smart move. Otherwise, adding solar panels to an existing roof might be more practical.
3. Aesthetics: If you want a sleek, integrated look, solar tiles are the clear winner.
4. Energy Needs: Consider how much energy you need to generate. If you need maximum efficiency, traditional panels might be more suitable.

In conclusion, both solar panels and solar tiles offer unique advantages. Your choice will depend on your priorities, whether they be aesthetics, efficiency, cost, or a combination of factors. As solar technology continues to evolve, it's essential to stay informed and consult with solar professionals like us to make the best decision for your specific situation!

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