Colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) are an attractive material for optoelectronic applications because they combine flexible, low-cost solution-phase synthesis and processing with the potential for novel functionality arising from their nanostructure. Specifically, the bandgap of films composed of arrays of CQDs can be tuned via the quantum confinement effect for tailored spectral utilization. PbS-based CQDs can be tuned throughout the near and mid-infrared wavelengths and are a promising materials system for photovoltaic devices that harvest non-visible solar radiation. The performance of CQD solar cells is currently limited by an absorption-extraction compromise, whereby photon absorption lengths in the near infrared spectral regime exceed minority carrier diffusion lengths in the bulk films. Several light trapping strategies for overcoming this compromise and increasing the efficiency of infrared energy harvesting will be reviewed. A thin-film interference technique for creating multi-colored and transparent solar cells will be presented, and a discussion of designing plasmonic nanomaterials based on earth-abundant materials for integration into CQD solar cells is developed. The results indicate that it should be possible to achieve high absorption and color-tunability in a scalable nanomaterials system.