Abstract Low luminescent quantum yields and large overlap between quantum dot (QD) emission and absorption spectra of present commercially-available visible-emitting QDs have led to low optical efficiencies for single-plate quantum dot solar concentrators (QDSCs). It is shown that using near infra-red (NIR) emitting QDs, re-absorption of QD emitted photons can be reduced greatly, thereby diminishing escape cone losses thus improving optical efficiencies and concentration ratios. Using Monte-Carlo ray-trace modelling, escape cone losses are quantified for different types of QD. A minimum 25% escape cone loss would be expected for a plate with refractive index of 1.5 containing QDs with no spectral overlap. It is shown that escape cone losses account for ∼57% of incident photons absorbed in QDSCs containing commercially-available visible-emitting QDs.