A variety of optical coatings are discussed in the context of solar energy utilization. Well-known coatings such as transparent conductors (heat mirrors), selective absorbers, and reflective films are surveyed briefly. Emphasis is placed on the materials' limitations and on use of lesser-known optical coatings and materials. Physical and optical properties are detailed for protective antireflection films, cold mirrors, fluorescent concentrator materials, radiative cooling surfaces, and optical switching films including electrochromic, thermochromic, photochromic, and liquid crystal types. For many of these materials, research has only recently been considered, so various design and durability issues need to be addressed.