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Exploring the differncing between a Roof Light & Roof Lantern

The term “roof light” or “skylight” encompasses a wide array of roof-based glazing systems, including both off-the-shelf rooflights and custom-designed skylights. It can refer to units of varying sizes, suitable for residential or commercial applications, and can be installed on flat or pitched roofs. The specific differences between roof lights and skylights are not rigidly defined and may vary depending on location, with “skylights” being more commonly used in the USA and “roof lights” in the UK and Europe.

With this in mind, let’s explore the typical distinctions between a roof light and a roof lantern:

Flat Rooflights Vs. Roof Lanterns: Which Option Is Right For You?

With an extensive array of styles and configurations available, homeowners now have more choices than ever when it comes to selecting a rooflight for their flat roof. In this blog post, we delve into the decision between a flat rooflight and a roof lantern to determine the best option for your needs.

A well-chosen rooflight can completely transform a property by introducing abundant natural light, enhanced ventilation, and a sense of spaciousness to previously dull or dark areas. Whether it’s illuminating kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, or loft spaces, the impact of a rooflight can be felt throughout the home.

Rooflights have become an integral feature of countless self-build and renovation projects across the UK, owing to their remarkable versatility. As both flat rooflights and roof lanterns have gained popularity, it’s essential to understand the differences between them to make an informed decision for your project.

Flat Rooflights:

Flat rooflights are an excellent option for those seeking a discreet appearance, as they sit low on the roofline and are minimally visible from the outside. Opting for flat rooflights designed to internal dimensions can maximise natural light ingress by up to 25%, instantly brightening any extension or renovation. Additionally, many flat rooflights offer ventilation options, contributing to enhanced airflow within the space.

Furthermore, homeowners can create larger rooflight systems by combining multiple flat rooflights in various configurations, making them ideal for elongated side returns or expansive home designs.

Roof Lanterns:

Roof lanterns provide a distinct aesthetic appeal and superior light distribution compared to flat rooflights. By channelling light from all angles, they serve as stunning architectural features, adding visual interest and enhancing the sense of space within a room. The open-ceiling design of roof lanterns maximises light flow and creates the illusion of increased room height, transforming the ambiance of any space.

However, it’s essential to consider the visible glazing bars inherent in roof lantern construction, as they can impact the aesthetic and light transmission. Opting for roof lanterns with minimal glazing bar connectors, such as the Korniche roof lantern, can mitigate this effect, allowing for a seamless blend of style and functionality.


Roof Lanterns

modern lantern roof built into kitchen Roof Lantern

  • The roof lantern extends outward from the roof, contributing to the architectural aesthetics of the structure.
  • Each glass pane is secured by a tight seal, minimizing heat dissipation and featuring structurally bonded joints that resist condensation.
  • Roof lanterns boast a frameless design, enhancing thermal efficiency to maintain warmth within your home.
  • Ultra-thin sightlines optimize the influx of natural light, eliminating bulky glazing bars for a sleek appearance.
  • Various finishes are offered, including options suitable for warmer climates, such as tinted glass to mitigate sunlight and glare.


Flat Roof Lights

Flat Roof Lantern Flat Roof Lantern


  • The rooflight lies fairly flush against the roof, not affecting the overall shape of the roof or architecture.
  • There are no visible internal joints, due to the rooflight being a single pane of glass.
  • Thermal and insulation properties always adhere to UK building regulations.
  • Units are always supplied fully assembled, along with simple fitting kits for easy installation.
  • Different shapes and sizes are available including bi-parting, hinged, sliding, circular, fixed, walk-on, and opening rooflights in a range of finishes and glass coatings.

Choosing the Best Option:

The primary difference between flat rooflights and roof lanterns lies in their appearance. While flat rooflights offer discreet integration with the roofline, roof lanterns make a bold architectural statement, both internally and externally. Additionally, budget considerations may influence the decision, with flat rooflights often providing a more cost-effective solution.

Regardless of the chosen style, investing in triple glazing for rooflights can significantly enhance thermal insulation, minimising heat loss and reducing external noise. By prioritizing energy efficiency, homeowners can uphold environmental sustainability while enjoying lower energy bills and improved comfort levels throughout their home.