Do Solar Panels Need Direct Sunlight?

09.14.2021
2 min read

When you think of solar panels, you likely picture them under a ray of sunlight since solar power runs on solar rays. But is direct exposure to sunlight necessary in order to produce solar power? The truth is: no! Indirect sunlight, such as a cloudy day, works just as well. Cloud coverage can’t stop your solar panels from providing you with clean energy. We’ll discuss this and other misconceptions you might have about the amount of sunlight needed to power your home. 

What Is Indirect Sunlight?

If you live in an area that doesn’t receive too many sunny days, this could be a big concern for you. Overcast or entirely cloudy days don’t mean you can’t go solar! Sunlight that travels through cloud cover or other obscuring factors is known as indirect sunlight. It’s also how you can get sunburned on a completely overcast day, which is proof your solar panels will can receive adequate amounts of sunlight to power your home even if you can’t see the sun yourself all day long. 

Is Indirect Sunlight Only Linked to Cloud Cover?

Not at all! Other possible sources leading to indirect sunlight are trees near your roof or the shadow of your roof itself. There are some steps you can take to ensure your panels receive a good amount of sunlight, such as cutting down or trimming back nearby trees so that branches or their shadows will not affect the solar panels. 

At POWERHOME SOLAR, we purposely take these measures into account when designing a custom solar solution for your home and its unique surroundings. To ensure panels are receiving optimal sunlight, we are extra careful with solar panel placement. 

Is Indirect Sunlight Comparable to Direct Sunlight?

your panels will receive the most sunlight and solar power on days where the sunlight pours directly onto the panels. But there is still the opportunity to receive a good amount of light even on cloudy days! If you do find yourself using a little less electricity than you need to power portions of your home, you could rely on a battery backup system. The system stores surplus electricity and can be used when needed such as during power outages. So if you live in an area where overcast days are common, you still have plenty of opportunities to start your solar journey. 

We’ve Got Your Back

POWERHOME SOLAR’s local team of solar experts has you covered with American-made solar panels that are made to meet your home’s specific electricity needs. No matter how much shade or cloud cover your home receives, we can create a solution that matches your unique situation. Ready for a free quote or just want to learn more about how direct and indirect sunlight could affect your solar power opportunities? We’re here to help.