Metal nanoparticles (NPs) can increase the absorption of light within semiconductors and hence improve the efficiency of solar cells. We experimentally investigate the effect that gold and silver NPs have on the reflectance of silicon wafers. The NPs are fabricated using the low cost, large area technique of thermal dewetting. We show that a dielectric spacer layer between the NPs and the semiconductor is required to achieve a net reduction of reflection. Furthermore, the optimum thickness of the spacer layer is found to be independent of NP size and metal type.