How Do I Make My Solar Panels More Aesthetic?

With the rising popularity of residential solar panels, aesthetics have become an important consideration for many homeowners. Although solar panels are an environmentally-friendly source of energy, some homeowners find their metallic color and industrial look unappealing. According to[1], “Which Type of Solar Panel is Right for You? The Importance of Solar Panel Aesthetics”, improving the visual appeal of solar panels can make them more palatable for homeowners and increase solar adoption.

There are several ways homeowners can make solar panels blend in better or even enhance the aesthetics of their homes. This article will provide an overview of the main techniques for improving solar panel visual appeal, including hiding panels, painting them, integrating them into the roof, adding ornamental frames, using solar shingles, and considering the location.


Hide Solar Panels From Street View

One effective way to make solar panels more aesthetically pleasing is to hide them from street view. This can be accomplished in a couple main ways:

First, you can mount the solar panels on the rear of the roof, opposite the street side. This placement takes advantage of sun exposure while also hiding the panels from the curb appeal of your home’s facade [1]. Just make sure to consider potential shading from trees or other buildings that could block sunlight.

Second, you can use strategic landscaping like trees or tall shrubs to obscure the view of the solar panels from the street. Carefully planting foliage along the borders and edges of your property can go a long way in camouflaging rooftop solar arrays [2]. Just be sure not to plant so close that the trees will eventually shade your panels.

By keeping solar panels out of sight from the curb, you can reap the benefits of solar while maintaining your home’s aesthetics and street facade.

Paint Solar Panels

One way to help solar panels blend in is to paint them in colors that match your roof. For example, if you have black shingles, painting the frames of your solar panels black can make them less noticeable from street view (citation 1). Be sure to use exterior-grade paint that is UV and weather resistant.

You can also get creative with painted designs or patterns on the panels. Some homeowners paint them to look like abstract art pieces or camouflage. There are even artists that incorporate solar panels into creative installations by painting them with beautiful designs (citation 2). Just be aware that painting solar panels in a way that significantly reduces their absorption could negatively impact performance. Consulting your installer before painting is advised.

Integrate Panels Into Roof

One way to make solar panels more aesthetically pleasing is to integrate them directly into the roof instead of mounting them on top. This involves installing the panels flush with the roof so they blend in seamlessly with the shingles or tiles.

All black solar panels can help the system blend in even further with traditional black asphalt shingles. The uniform look makes the roof appear cleaner and less cluttered compared to bolted-on panels. According to Roofit.Solar, their integrated solar roof combines premium materials and solar technology for an award-winning aesthetic.

The main benefit of integrated solar roofs is the streamlined, uniform appearance. The roof looks cleaner without bulky panel structures mounted on top. Flush installation also improves wind resistance compared to elevated panels. Overall, integrating solar into the roof itself can make the system much more visually appealing.

Add Ornamental Frames

Adding custom ornamental metalwork frames around solar panels can help them blend in better with your home’s architecture and decor. The frames can match or complement the trim, railings, and other metalwork on your house. According to Pinterest, you can even build your own DIY solar panel frames to hold as many panels as needed.

Ornamental panel frames come in styles like wrought iron, antique bronze, polished brass, and more. They can feature decorative flourishes like scrolls, curlicues, and accents that make plain solar array frames into an attractive design feature. Place your panels within these artistic frames, and they seamlessly become part of your home’s decor rather than an eyesore.

When shopping for ornamental solar panel frames, look for durable and weather-resistant metals that can withstand outdoor installation. According to sites like Alibaba, many manufacturers offer wholesale ornamental aluminum frames ideal for holding solar panels.

With the right custom frame, your solar array can be a beautiful architectural asset rather than an obstruction to your home’s aesthetics. Ornamental frames allow the panels to coordinate with your house in style and form.

Combine With Windows/Skylights

Installing solar panels alongside windows or skylights can help blend the panels into the overall roof aesthetic. Skylights allow natural light into the home while solar panels generate renewable energy, so combining both can provide functionality and visual appeal.

When installing solar panels near skylights or other windows, be sure to leave sufficient space between them for light and airflow. Panels should not block the skylight. Refer to skylight installation guidelines for proper clearance recommendations.

Using matching or complementary frames between the solar panels and skylights or windows can help them appear more cohesive. For example, choosing skylights and solar panels with black aluminum frames can make the roof fixtures seem like a unified design element.

matching solar panel and skylight frames creates a unified roof design

Some skylight manufacturers like VELUX offer solar-powered models that can be bundled with solar shades and smart home technology for automatic control. These integrated solar skylight products provide both natural light and solar energy generation (source).

With thoughtful placement and coordination of frames, solar panels can be seamlessly incorporated alongside skylights and windows to enhance both form and function.

Use Solar Shingles

One way to make solar panels more aesthetically pleasing is to replace standard roof shingles directly with solar shingles. Solar shingles integrate photovoltaic technology into roof shingles, providing a sleek, uniform look. Rather than installing bulky solar panels on top of the roof, solar shingles lay flush and blend seamlessly into the roof surface.

According to research, solar shingles are gaining popularity in the United States, especially in California where aesthetics are highly valued [1]. Compared to traditional solar panels, solar shingles provide a more integrated, streamlined appearance. The entire roof can uniformly generate electricity from the sun.

The key advantage of solar shingles is their integrated and subtle look, avoiding the noticeable protrusion of standard solar panels. For homeowners who prioritize aesthetics, solar shingles allow the roof to generate solar energy while maintaining an attractive, clean look.

Add Custom Housing Unit

An increasingly popular way to aesthetically integrate solar panels is to add a custom housing unit on the roof that conceals the panels. According to Solar Design Associates, these units can be designed to match the architecture and color scheme of the home.

The housing unit essentially serves as an additional roof surface where the panels can be installed and hidden from street view. The inside of the unit can be customized with vents and wiring channels to accommodate the solar panel setup. The exterior can use the same materials and paint colors as the home for a cohesive look.

Homeowners interested in this option would work with a solar installer that offers custom housing unit design services. The housing can be created as a seamless extension of the home’s roofline and architecture. This allows the solar panels to blend in for a cleaner, less obtrusive aesthetic.

Consider Location

When installing solar panels, carefully consider their placement so they are as unobtrusive as possible. As Paradise Energy explains, “Depending on your building or home’s orientation, the solar system can be installed on the back or non-street-facing side of your roof” (source). This helps hide the panels from the street view.

If installing panels on the front of the home, position them underneath the porch roof or a dormer if possible, Energy5 recommends. This conceals them while still allowing sunlight access (source). Strategic placement is key for maximizing solar gain and minimizing visibility.


In summary, there are several effective ways to improve the aesthetics of solar panels on your home. Hiding panels from street view, painting them to match your roof, integrating them into the roof design, adding ornamental frames, and using solar shingles can all help panels blend in better. Considering panel location and combining them with windows or skylights also helps. Ultimately, aesthetics are crucial for seamlessly integrating solar into your home’s design and architecture. With careful planning and the right products, you can have an attractive, high-performing solar system that enhances your home’s curb appeal and sustainability.

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