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Roof Lanterns vs. Skylights: Which to Choose?


If you are looking for a cost-effective way to brighten up your home and give its market value a nice bounce you are probably considering adding a roof window or roof windows of some kind. Two of the most common types of roof windows are skylights and roof lanterns, but which one is right for your house? In this brief guide, we'll take a look at both in an effort to help you decide which one to pick.

What is a Skylight?

A skylight is a window installed on the roof that allows natural light into the space below. Skylights can be small or large and installed over virtually any space you choose including lofts, kitchens, hallways and even walk-in closets. There are several kinds of skylights including fixed skylights that do not open and ventilated skylights that do. Skylights are most often installed on sloped sections of the roof.

What is a Roof Lantern?

A roof lantern is a more complex structure than a skylight, typically comprising numerous panes of glass that rise toward a central spine or which create a pyramid or polygonal shape. Unlike skylights that tend to sit more or less flush to the roof line, roof lanterns protrude, sometimes by as much as a metre. Roof lanterns are most often installed on flat roofs, although they are sometimes installed on roofs with a modest slope or along the ridge of a sloped roof.

The Benefits of Skylights

Skylights provide a range of easy-to-understand benefits including:

  • They cost less than roof lanterns and they’re cheaper to install.
  • You have more choices regarding where they can be installed.
  • They’re an ideal choice for loft conversions.
  • They add an air of sophistication to the house from the street.
  • Because they sit flush you will rarely need planning permission.

The Benefits of Roof Lanterns

Roof lanterns have their own unique benefits that appeal to many home and business owners:

  • They capture light from multiple angles.
  • They can extend a space upward in a way skylights cannot.
  • They are visually striking.
  • They are often perfect for conservatories or home extensions.
  • They add a sense of sophistication when installed over indoor swimming pools.

Because they protrude above the existing roof line you will probably need planning permission to add a roof lantern.

Learn More About Roof Lanterns and Skylights by Calling RL&RL

Contact RL&RL today by calling 020 8087 2004 to learn more or to order a skylight or roof lantern for your home or business.

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  • Moshin