Group IV clathrates are a unique class of guest/framework type compounds that are considered potential candidates for a wide range of applications (superconductors to semiconductors). To date, most of the research on group IV clathrates has focused heavily on thermoelectric applications. Recently, these materials have attracted attention as a result of their direct, wide band gaps for possible use in photovoltaic applications. Additionally, framework alloying has been shown to result in tunable band gaps. In this review, we discuss the current work and future opportunities concerning the synthesis and optical characterization of group IV clathrates for optoelectronics applications.