Brighten Up Your Home: Roof Lantern vs Skylight Comparison

Are you looking to brighten up your home with natural light? A roof lantern or skylight might be just what you need. But which option is best for your home and budget?

In this article, we’ll compare roof lanterns and skylights to help you make an informed decision. We’ll look at the pros and cons of each option, as well as important factors to consider when choosing between the two.

Whether you want to add a stunning feature to your home or simply let more sunlight in, read on to learn more about roof lanterns and skylights.

Comparing Roof Lanterns and Skylights: Which is the better choice?

Roof lanterns and skylights, both great options to add natural light and extra space to your home, have some distinct differences.

Visual Differences:

Roof lanterns, also known as rooflights or lantern rooflights, are pyramid-shaped structures that sit above the roof on a curb. They have glazing bars and can be custom sized to fit your roof dimensions. 

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Skylights, on the other hand, are flat installations that rest on the roof itself, often with a single pane of glass. They come in a range of shapes and sizes, including rectangular and circular.

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Construction and Suitability:

Roof lanterns are made of more durable materials, such as aluminum and glass, and are better suited for architectural-style homes. They also provide better air circulation due to their shape and can be double glazed or filled with argon gas for energy efficiency. While skylights can also be energy efficient, they are more suitable for flat roof extensions and single-story homes. Additionally, they can be self-cleaning and come with adequate ventilation options.

Benefits and Drawbacks:

Roof lanterns add an exceptional architectural element to your home and can improve your energy bills. However, they can be costly and require the professional installation due to their unique construction. Skylights, though more affordable, may create heat build-up and can be less visually pleasing than their roof lantern counterparts.

Overall, when choosing between roof lanterns and skylights, consider the style of your home, energy efficiency goals, and internal dimensions to determine which option will best enhance your space.

What is a Skylight?

A skylight is a type of window that is installed on a roof or ceiling and allows natural light to enter a space. It offers a solution for homeowners who want to increase ventilation and natural light in their home. Skylights come in a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from rectangular to circular to dome-shaped, and they can be fixed or operable. They are made from a range of materials, including glass, acrylic, and polycarbonate, with different levels of insulation and UV protection. Installing a skylight can be a great way to add visual interest, increase your home’s value, and create a brighter and more pleasant living space.

What are the Benefits of Skylights?

One of the key benefits of skylights is that they are energy efficient, as they can help to reduce the need for artificial lighting during the day. Additionally, skylights do not require a planning permit, which makes them an easy choice for those who want to add natural light to their living spaces.

In terms of ventilation, skylights can improve air flow and help to regulate indoor temperatures, which can be particularly beneficial during the summer months. And, of course, skylights provide an excellent source of natural light, which can have a positive impact on one’s mood and well-being.

Finally, skylights can also offer access to your roof, which can be particularly helpful for maintenance or cleaning purposes. So whether you want to add more natural light, improve ventilation, or simply gain roof access, skylights are a great option to consider.

What is a Roof Lantern?

A roof lantern is an architectural element that adds a creative roof glazing solution to any building. It is a type of skylight that is distinct from its flat counterparts due to its pyramid shape. With its glazing bars and custom sizing, a roof lantern brings in an exceptional performance of natural light and extra space. It can provide an excellent focal point to any room, be it an extension, conservatory, or orangery, giving a unique architectural style. In this article, we will delve into the key differences between roof lanterns and skylights, as well as the benefits of roof lanterns, cons of roof lanterns, and the factors between roof lights.

What are the Benefits of a Roof Lantern?

The key differences between these two options are light entry and benefits.

Roof lanterns allow three times more light to enter a room than regular windows. They’re an impressive addition to any home, adding value and stunning views. They’re perfect for single-story extensions, flat roof extensions, and even ground-level rooms.

The biggest difference between roof lanterns and skylights is the amount of light that enters the room. Roof lanterns flood interiors with natural light, whereas skylights only allow a small amount of light to enter, in comparison.

In terms of benefits, roof lanterns are far superior to skylights. They’re a creative roof glazing solution and come in custom sizing – up to 4m long. They’re energy-efficient, and exceptional performance can be achieved with double glazing, self-cleaning glass, and argon gas. The addition of adequate ventilation can also prevent heat build-up.

Do I need a planning permission for either one?

If you’re considering adding natural light to your home with a skylight or roof lantern, you may be wondering if you need planning permission. The good news is that, in most cases, you won’t need to apply for planning permission.

Roof lanterns fall under ‘permitted development’ and are subject to a set of rules and conditions. These conditions include keeping the lantern within the roof plane, adhering to maximum projection limits, and ensuring it’s not placed on the side of the property that faces a road.

However, if you’re planning to make larger alterations to your property, you may need to apply for planning permission. For example, if you live in a conservation area or a listed building, your local council may have additional restrictions in place.

It’s also important to keep in mind that any alterations you make to your property must comply with building regulations. These regulations ensure that the alterations meet safety and environmental standards.

Which Is Best?

Both flat rooflights and roof lanterns are great options for bringing natural light into your home, but which one is the best fit for your project? Here are some factors to consider when making your decision:


Flat rooflights are sleek, modern, and unobtrusive, making them a perfect fit for contemporary homes with flat roof extensions. Roof lanterns, on the other hand, have a pyramid shape and glazing bars, adding an architectural element to any room and making them a better choice for traditional or period-style homes.


Flat rooflights are generally less expensive than roof lanterns due to their simpler design. However, the cost can vary depending on factors such as size, material, and custom sizing. Roof lanterns can be a bit pricier due to their more complex construction.

Energy efficiency:

Both flat rooflights and roof lanterns can be energy efficient when installed with double glazing and adequate ventilation. However, roof lanterns may be more prone to heat build-up in summer months due to their pyramid shape and smaller air circulation. For south-facing rooms or those with high ceiling heights, roof lanterns can be a better solution.

Overall, the choice between flat rooflights and roof lanterns comes down to your individual improvement goals, your style preferences, and your budget. Consider all these factors and speak with the supplier’s customer service team to help you make the perfect choice for your project.


In summary, both roof lanterns and skylights are excellent ways to bring natural light into your home. When choosing between the two, it’s essential to consider specific factors such as appearance, cost, and energy efficiency.

A roof lantern can add unique architectural value to any home while also potentially boosting property value. However, it’s important to note that there may be restrictions, such as planning permission and cost, to consider before installation.

Ultimately, the best choice between a roof lantern and skylights will depend on your specific needs and improvement goals. To make a final recommendation, we suggest speaking with a professional and considering the aesthetics, practicality, and budget of your project before making a decision. With the right choice, your new roof light can bring natural light and extra space into your home for years to come.

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