A team from MIT may have developed a cost-effective solar collector system for buildings. It consists of panes of glass coated with particular dyes. Each pane collects light in a specific range of wavelengths and delivers it to a relatively small area of solar cells. As such, the technology would replace some relatively expensive photovoltaic components with cheaper glass ones. It would also do away with the need for moving sun-tracking mirrors.
As with many human innovations, there is a natural precedent. Photosynthetic pigments in chloroplasts help to capture the light used in photosynthesis. They too differ in colour depending on the peak wavelength being targeted, thus explaining why you can have your algae in red, brown, yellow-green, etc.