Solar roof panels vs solar shingles: which is right for you?
Thursday January 26, 2023
So you’re going solar. It’s a decision many come to in order to reduce their carbon footprint and
lower their energy bills. We’ve all seen solar panels, those bulky slabs on a rooftop, but have you
heard of solar shingles? Solar shingles are an attractive alternative, but there are a few things to
consider before deciding which solar option is best for you. First, let’s take a quick dive into
What are solar panels?
A traditional solar panel is a rectangular plate containing a series of photovoltaic cells. These
cells absorb sunlight and transfer it into electrical or thermal energy. The energy generated is
gathered and stored in batteries for future use.
What are solar shingles?
Solar shingles operate in the same way as conventional solar panels to produce energy, but they
are thin, flexible photovoltaic (PV) sheets that replace or lay on top of your existing shingles.
Solar shingles are typically the same size as roofing shingles, so are not very noticeable to the
passerby. The most common are made from copper indium gallium selenide, a semiconductor,
and have a conversion efficiency rate of 10% to 12%, but there is also a monocrystalline silicon
option with an efficiency rate of 15% to 20%. Standard solar panels average 15%-18%.
Why choose solar shingles over traditional solar panels?
First and foremost, aesthetics. Solar panels are large, clunky, blocks that sit atop your roof. Solar
shingles are virtually invisible. They blend into, or replace, the existing shingles.
Secondly, the difference in durability is undeniable. Thin, flexible solar shingles are more
resilient than traditional solar panels. When considering the harsh Florida weather, resilience is
imperative. Solar shingles are also intended to be fire-resistant, unlike solar panels.
What are the advantages of going traditional?
The biggest factor that places solar panels ahead of solar shingles is cost. It is important to
understand your solar needs before making a decision, as price varies greatly depending on
square footage and energy needs. Solar shingles on average range in cost from $15,000 to
$20,000, but can go upward of $70,000. The average cost to add traditional solar panels to your
Florida home is between $10,000 and $13,000.
Installation is another win for solar panels vs solar shingles. Solar shingles can take a week or
longer to properly install. Solar panels, on the other hand, are installed in one day.
Shingles or Panels?
Ultimately, each homeowner will have to take a look at their individual goals, budget, and
personal preferences and make that decision for themselves. If you have decided on solar
shingles, you might want to familiarize yourself with a few varieties.
Top 5 solar shingles
Tesla, typically known for electric cars, also manufactures batteries and solar shingles. Tesla
shingles are made from quartz, making them more efficient and resilient than some of the
competitors, and they come with a 25-year warranty. As a bonus, not only does this company sell
the product, but they manage the entire process of installation.
Certain Teed shingles are designed to replace only parts of the roof, and there are two different
designs. One is best used with concrete tile roofing, and the other is designed to be used with
asphalt shingles. Both are created with monocrystalline technology.
SunTegra is one of the more affordable options and also comes in an interlocking tile or shingle
option. These attach directly to the existing roof, reducing the time it takes to install and integrate
Luma shingles stand out in terms of efficiency at 21%, and durability, claiming to withstand
Category 5 hurricanes. Luma also is the only current solar shingle solution that can be upgraded
with improving technology.
Timberline Solar by GAF Energy
Timberline shingles are designed to simplify solar. These shingles are durable, water-shedding,
and designed to last. These shingles do not blend in as well as some of the other brands, but
installation is quick and easy. They install directly to your existing roof.
So whether you choose to go traditional, or give shingles a try, going solar is a great way to use
the sun’s power to save you money and support the environment. If you already have a solar
system installed, you’ll want to keep them clean and working well. Give the experts at Beacon a
call at (321) 507-4851. We are the pioneers in solar cleaning, and we’ll keep you up and running