6 Best Solar Panels for Your Home in 2019

DISCLAIMER: Our partners no longer take appointments for homeowners looking to benefit from the Feed-in Tariff, which is due to end on 31st March 2019


Want to get solar panels for your home, but not sure who you should buy them from? We've got you covered. Here’s our review of the 6 best solar panel companies on the market today.

If you’re thinking of switching to solar power, you’ll find that there’s a lot of choice on the market. This is a good thing – healthy competition means better products and lower prices – but how do you know which solar panel to choose?

Fortunately, we can help. We’ve independently reviewed over 20 solar panel manufacturers in the UK, assessing everything from efficiency and performance to customer service and value for money. See below for our rundown of the top solar panel companies in the UK, and the best solar panels for your home.

To receive bespoke quotes for solar panels, simply fill in the form at the top of this page, and our trusted installers will be in touch. For more information, check out our page on the cost of solar panels in 2019.

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Best solar panels for your home

The six best solar panel companies on the market today are: Canadian Solar, LG, Project Solar, Panasonic, Sharp, and SunPower. We’ve worked out which brand is best depending on what you want most from your solar panels. Check out the table below for our full rundown.

Solar panel manufacturer
Best for
Maximum efficiency
Maximum power output
Power warranty
Product range
Panel types
Canadian Solar
Efficiency
23.80%
405W
25-30 years
8 panels
Mono, poly
LG
Product innovation
21.4%
400W
25 years
4 panels
Mono
Project Solar
Customer service
21%
330W
25 years
3 panels
Mono
Panasonic
Value for money
19.8%
335W
25 years
5 panels
Mono
Sharp
Product range
20%
370W
25 years
13 panels
Mono, poly
SunPower
Power warranty
22.7%
400W
25 years
9 panels
Mono

Information updated in April 2019.



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Canadian Solar

Best panel efficiency

best solar panels canadian solar

Canadian Solar means business – it’s produced over 70 million solar panels since being founded in 2001, and runs operations across 20 countries worldwide. What’s more, it’s leading the way when it comes to solar panel efficiency (i.e. how much sunlight a solar panel can convert into electricity). Its BiKu CS3U-365PB-FG is a bit of a mouthful, but it offers a whopping 23.80% efficiency.

The company’s eight-panel range is very impressive, including the mega-powerful 405-watt HiKu, and the super-resistant Dymond, capable of withstanding high temperatures, high humidity, corrosion, and sandstorms.

Check out Canadian Solar’s best three solar panels:

Model

Type

Max. efficiency

Max. power

Product warranty

Power warranty

HiKu
Polycrystalline
18.79%
415W
10 years
25 years
BiKu
Polycrystalline
23.80%
380W
10 years
30 years
HiDM
Monocrystalline
20.37%
335W
10 years
25 years

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LG

Best product innovation

best solar panels lg

LG is a real pioneer of solar technology, having developed solar cells for traffic signs and clocks long before it switched to residential and commercial solar panels in 2010. Since then, its panels have won the coveted Intersolar AWARD in 2013, 2015, and 2016.

The LG range consists of just four panels, but it’s all about quality over quantity. For example, the NeON® 2 panels are built using LG’s innovative Cello Technology™, where 12 wires are used (instead of the industry-standard four) to increase sunlight absorption and reduce electricity loss. Plus, LG’s NeON® R BiFacial (i.e. double-sided) solar panel is capable of generating an extra 30% electricity.

Check out LG’s best three solar panels:

Model

Type

Max. efficiency

Max. power

Product warranty

Power warranty

NeON® R
Monocrystalline
21.4%
370W
25 years
25 years
NeON® 2
Monocrystalline
19.8%
400W
25 years
25 years
NeON® R BiFacial
Monocrystalline
18.7%
395W
25 years
25 years

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Project Solar

Best customer service

best solar panels panasonic

Project Solar is undoubtedly the friendliest of all UK solar panel companies – once you arrive on its website, a smiley, floaty robot with jetpack-powered feet welcomes you in (and follows you round for the duration of your visit). The company has performed over 15,000 installations to date, which equates to many millions of watts.

When it comes to keeping customers happy, Project Solar are true professionals – the company has a barnstorming 8.7/10 score on Trustpilot, based on 1,720 reviews. People are very impressed with the company’s speed of service, communication, and aftercare.

Project Solar offers just three different types of solar panel. Check them out below:

Model

Type

Max. efficiency

Max. power

Product warranty

Power warranty

EVO Ultramax
Monocrystalline
19.66%
285W
10 years
25 years
EVO Ultramax Plus
Monocrystalline
19.66%
330W
10 years
25 years
SunPower E20 Series
Monocrystalline
21%
327W
25 years
25 years

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Panasonic

Best value for money

best solar panels sharp

Japanese tech giant Panasonic has been a big player in the solar power industry since the 1970s, having sold more than 3 million solar panels in Europe alone. The folks at Panasonic are very proud of their heterojunction (HIT®) technology, which reduces electricity loss at solar cell boundaries, and leads to highly efficient solar panels.

Fortunately, Panasonic’s reliable and efficient solar panels won’t cost you an arm and a leg; research by EnergySage found most Panasonic systems to be priced very moderately, averaging $3.37-3.86 (or £2.58-2.95), which is comfortably mid-range.

Check out Panasonic’s best three solar panels:

Model

Type

Max. efficiency

Max. power

Product warranty

Power warranty

HIT N250
Monocrystalline
19.8%
250W
25 years
25 years
HIT N335
Monocrystalline
19.7%
330W
25 years
25 years
HIT N335K KURO
Monocrystalline
19.7%
335W
25 years
25 years

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Sharp

Best product range

best solar panels solarworld

Sharp started out in 1915 selling mechanical pencils, but is now one of the world’s biggest solar panel manufacturers, having installed residential solar PV systems since 2004.

The Japanese tech company offers no less than 13 different solar panels, so you’re bound to find the right fit for your home. Options include a range of colours (e.g. navy blue, black), power outputs (256W to 370W), efficiencies (16.5% to 20%), types (monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and bifacial), and designs (two of which have won a Good Design Award).

Check out Sharp’s best three solar panels:

Model

Type

Max. efficiency

Max. power

Product warranty

Power warranty

NQR258H
Monocrystalline
20%
258W
10 years
25 years
NUAH370
Monocrystalline
19.1%
370W
10 years
25 years
NQR256A
Monocrystalline
19.8%
256W
10 years
25 years

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SunPower

Best power warranty

best solar panels yingli solar

US-based SunPower entered the solar power industry in 1985, impressing everyone with its Maxeon® technology. This was invented at Stanford University by Richard Swanson, involving an “all-back contact” solar cell with thick connectors, a solid metal backing, and no grid lines. What does all this mean? To put it simply, it means more sunlight absorption, increased panel durability, and improved panel appearance. Nice.

SunPower’s big plus point is its generous warranties – the company offers a 25-year combined Power, Product & Service warranty, which is superb by industry standards. For certain models (SunPower has nine in total), the company guarantees that the solar panel’s power output will not fall below 92% of its original level after 25 years (compared to an industry average of around 80-85%).

Check out SunPower’s best three solar panels:

Model

Type

Max. efficiency

Max. power

Product warranty

Power warranty

X22-370 DC
Monocrystalline
22.7%
370W
25 years
25 years
MAXEON 3
Monocrystalline
22.6%
400W
25 years
25 years
MAXEON 2
Monocrystalline
20.4%
360W
25 years
25 years

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Methodology: what solar panel features did we review?


Efficiency

A solar panel’s efficiency (expressed as a percentage) refers to how well it can convert sunlight into electricity, so a solar panel with a higher efficiency can produce a higher amount of electricity. If you want to maximise the amount of electricity you produce – or you only have a small amount of roof space on which to install solar panels – we’d recommend choosing a solar panel with an efficiency of over 19%.

If your property has a large roof space, it may be worth installing solar panels with a lower efficiency. A larger number of less efficient solar panels will produce the same amount of electricity as a smaller number of more efficient solar panels, and will probably save you a bit of money.

The table below shows you the solar panel efficiency of the top solar companies:

Manufacturer

Solar panel efficiency

Canadian Solar
15.81% to 23.80%
LG
16.80% to 21.40%
Project Solar
19.66% to 21%
Panasonic
19% to 19.8%
Sharp
16.5% to 20%
SunPower
18.4% to 22.7%


Warranty Period

The warranty period of a solar panel is a good indication of its quality. The longer a solar panel’s warranty period, the more faith a company has that its product is durable and reliable. Solar panels come with two types of warranty: a product warranty and a power warranty.

  • The product warranty is a guarantee that the physical components of a solar panel will not break from manufacturing defects during the stated period (e.g. 10 years). If your solar panel does break during this period, the product warranty covers the cost of returning, replacing, or repairing your solar panel (meaning you don’t have to pay a penny).

  • The power (or performance) warranty is a guarantee that a solar panel will produce electricity for the stated amount of time (e.g. 25 years). In most cases, this means guaranteed electrical generation for 10 years at 90% of its maximum power output, and 25 years at around 80% of its maximum power output.

Always choose a solar panel with a long product and power warranty – you’ll be less likely to encounter any problems with it, and you’ll be able to produce more electricity over a longer period of time.

The table below shows the product and power warranty periods of the top solar panel companies:

Manufacturer

Product warranty

Power warranty

Canadian Solar
10 years
25 to 30 years
LG
25 years
25 years
Project Solar
10 to 25 years
25 years
Panasonic
25 years
25 years
Sharp
10 years
25 years
SunPower
25 years
25 years


Type

The type of solar panel you choose can have an effect on how much electricity you’re able to produce. There are two main types of solar panels on the market today: monocrystalline solar panels and polycrystalline solar panels.

  • Monocrystalline solar panels have a sleek black finish to them. They are smaller and more efficient, and are designed to have a longer lifespan. Because of this, they’re typically more expensive.

  • Polycrystalline solar panels are more blue in colour, larger, and less efficient. They also often have a shorter lifespan, making them a cheaper alternative.

The type of solar panel that is best for you will depend on your own preferences, and what you want to achieve from installing them on your property.

If you want to maximise the amount of electricity you produce, we’d recommend opting for the more efficient monocrystalline solar panels.

The table below shows you what type of solar panels the top solar panel companies produce:

Manufacturer

Types of solar panel

Canadian Solar
Monocrystalline, polycrystalline
LG
Monocrystalline, polycrystalline
Project Solar
Monocrystalline
Panasonic
Monocrystalline
Sharp
Monocrystalline, polycrystalline
SunPower
Monocrystalline


Power

Solar panels can range in power from a small 10 watts up to a huge 400 watts or more. The greater the power of a solar panel, the more electricity it can supply to your home (and the more appliances it can power).

If you want your solar panels to fully cover your entire electricity usage, you’ll need solar panels with a high wattage (i.e. around 300 watts or more). Most experts recommend that you get solar panels which provide at least 20% more electricity than you need – this allows for unexpectedly high energy usage, or low levels of sunlight.

However, if you just want your solar panels to cover only part of your home’s electricity usage, then you can opt for a less powerful solar panel at around 200 to 275 watts.

The table below provides an overview of the top solar panel companies, based on how much power their solar panels can produce:

Manufacturer

Solar panel power

Canadian Solar
275 to 415 watts
LG
290 to 400 watts
Project Solar
285 to 330 watts
Panasonic
245 to 335 watts
Sharp
256 to 370 watts
SunPower
310 to 400 watts


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Best Solar Panels for Your Home: The Verdict

If you’re looking to install solar panels at home, there are plenty of top quality solar technology companies for you to choose from. Whether you want to maximise the amount of electricity you can generate, enjoy financial security from generous warranty periods, or simply want to get great value solar panels that won’t break the bank, there’s a solar brand for you.

The top six solar panel brands for your home are:

  1. Canadian Solar: best efficiency
  2. LG: best product innovation
  3. Project Solar: best customer service
  4. Panasonic: best value for money
  5. Sharp: best product range
  6. SunPower: best performance warranty

If you've got a boat or a caravan, you can check out our marine solar panels and caravan solar panels pages to discover the best products on the market.


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FAQs

Which type of solar panel is best for home use?

Monocrystalline solar panels are generally regarded as the best type of solar panel for home use. Although monocrystalline solar panels cost slightly more than polycrystalline solar panels, they’re also smaller, meaning you can fit more onto your roof – great news if you live in a terraced or semi-detached property with a small roof. What’s more, monocrystalline solar panels are typically more energy efficient, meaning they’ll generate more electricity than polycrystalline panels.


What is the most efficient solar panel?

The most efficient residential solar panels have an efficiency of more than 23%. Canadian Solar currently makes the most energy-efficient solar panel on the market – the BiKu CS3U-365PB-FG – which can reach up to 23.80% efficiency and has a maximum power of 380 watts.


How many solar panels are needed to power a house?

The number of solar panels you’ll need to power your house will depend on how much electricity you use. As a rule of thumb, the more electricity your household uses, the more solar panels you’ll need. Homes in the UK typically need between four and 16 solar panels – for example, a one-bedroom property will need about four panels, while a large 4-bedroom property will need around 16 panels.


Who should install solar panels?

Never attempt to install solar panels yourself. You should always use a professional installation company - but make sure that it is accredited by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). Using a non-accredited person to install your solar panels will mean you won’t be able to earn cash for the electricity your solar panels generate under the Feed-in Tariff, so it’s not worth taking the risk. If you want to check whether a solar panel installer is accredited by the MCS, you can enter their details into the MCS installer search tool.

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