Are LG Solar panels any good?
At GI Energy we can install any solar panel for your home or business. This means we are able to write honest reviews expressing our genuine opinion, without having to be biased due to holding stock of LG solar panels, or any other solar panel! This article details the opinion of our Business Development Director, who has worked in various roles from consultancy, business development and commercial project management in the PV industry since 2009.
Warranty and tech support today: 8
Warranty and tech support long-term: 9
Value for money: 7.5
Total Rating: 8/10
LG, which stands for Life’s Good, are one of the most recognisable brand names in the solar industry. Most of us are familiar with their logo from a fridge, TV or washing machine in our homes and it is probably safe to say that almost everyone reading this has had one of the above LG appliances in their own lives in the last 5-years.
This is not a common trait for solar panels, and aside from Hyundai Solar Panels there are no other brands that stand out as household names in this industry. Bosch have dipped in and out of the solar market over the years (with varied success) as have Panasonic and even Samsung make good quality batteries for solar storage. But LG Solar and Hyundai Solar are the only two really big household names that have a solar panel product offering in Australia right now.
So, does being a big brand mean LG make solar panels worth buying? The short answer… depends how deep your pockets are. There are pros and cons of all major solar panel brands to consider, and the best panel for you may not be the best panel for your best friend or neighbour.
Let’s firstly take a look at the manufacturer:
LG are a huge Korean company who first started trading in 1947. They have three main divisions: Electronics, telecommunications and chemicals. The chemical division also make a range of solar batteries, which are a popular choice in Australia.
They are a hugely credible company and tick every box for what you would look for in a solar panel manufacturer. At GI Energy we like solar panel manufacturers that are diversified and bankable. LG have annual revenues over $200 billion across their divisions and are extremely diversified, so they are about as credible as you get from this standpoint.
There are only really a handful of solar panel manufactures who can claim to be as credible as LG in terms of scale and bankability. These are Hanwha Q Cells, Sumec Phono Solar and Hyundai Green Energy. For more information about choosing the best solar panel for you, click here.
Are they any good though? And what is the range like?
The short answer is yes…they make a wonderful solar panel. In recent years they have had three main solar panels for sale in Australia: The Neon R, Neon 2 and Mono X. The latter has been phased out in Australia and is not currently available, which leaves the Neon series. The Neon R is the flagship panel and has an efficiency rating of 21.7%, which ranks it as the second most efficient solar panel in the world in 2020. The Neon 2 is slightly less efficient but still comes in at 20.7 – which is still 4th on the list of most efficient solar panels. The Mono X was the more cost-effective version for LG and as a result was less efficient and also came with a shorter warranty period of only 15-years.
So, what’s the warranty like on the LG Neon series?
To give you another short answer… very good! They offer a full 25-year product and performance warranty. This puts them right at the top of the pile again, along with Hyundai, Q Cell and SunPower who also offer a 25-year product warranty as well as the more standard 25-year efficiency warranty.
Just as a side note. The warranty really is a top-drawer warranty in terms of how credible the manufacturer is and how long the long the warranty period is. However, from our experience, when you do need help from LG for warranty claims, the actual support has been very poor. You are likely to get the support you need for claims, but it could well be a fight to get it!
Update: LG Solar recently been pointed out to us that the LG Chem and LG Solar division are not linked in any way in terms of warranty support. Our poor experience mentioned above was with the battery (LG Chem) division. We have not had any poor experiences with the LG Solar division in Australia.
What’s the downside then?
Be prepared to spend big if you want to buy LG Solar panels. They are a great product from a great manufacturer and tick every box we look for in a solar panel. But, frankly, they charge like a wounded bull.
Just to be clear, we install LG Solar panels here at GI Energy. But if cost is even part of your decision process then you should really consider the cost vs. benefit calculation here. Yes – LG make very efficient solar panels. But when you calculate the efficiency vs. extra savings it is really hard to make them stack up.
They have a great brand name, and essentially this is what you are paying part of that premium for. If are you aware of this and do not mind paying quite a bit extra for the secure feeling that comes with buying something like LG, then these are a great panel for you.
However, we would suggest checking out Hyundai, Q Cells and Sumec Phono Solar before doing so. These three brands offer a slightly cheaper option in Q Cells, another step down in price in Hyundai and yet another discount with Sumec Phono Solar. Outside of this bunch you have a multitude of “panel only” manufacturers to choose from but if you are looking for big brand security and great performance these would be the selection for you to look at closely.
So, should I buy LG Solar Panels?
If you are not at all concerned by value vs. cost then yes, you probably should as they make a great panel that rival SunPower for efficiency and reliability, and they are backed by a household name brand with almost unlimited resources to help with warranties (even if the claim process is not great, as mentioned above). If you are like 99.9% of customers we talk to, and you care about cost and value, then you probably shouldn’t buy LG and refer to one of the brands above that tick almost every box they do, for a fraction of the cost.
Here are some links worth checking out: