Which is the Best Option: A Roof Lantern or Natural Skylight?

dark grey roof lantern solar glass

If you’re looking to add great, natural lighting to an area in your home, particularly where you’ve had bi-fold doors installed, there are a couple of options that you might like to consider.

The first is a roof lantern which is a framed, protruding structure that goes on top of the roof. It’s the kind of design that has been around since the middle ages and was used quite a lot in churches. In Victorian times they became important parts of many buildings where natural light was required. More recently it’s the sort of design that is seen on structures like conservatories or extensions and can add a certain style to your property.

The other option is to go for a natural skylight which essentially fits into the form of the roof rather than protruding. Both roof lanterns and skylights perform the same function and much will depend on the type of effect you want to achieve for your home.

The Benefits of Natural Light

We all know that natural light is much better for us. Not only does it make us feel better it can also be beneficial for the environment. With an installation like a roof lantern or skylight, you get that extra warmth that comes from the sun penetrating into your room from above. They can also make areas look a lot more spacious and add a new dimension that you don’t get with closed ceilings. They’re also brilliant if you want to look at the night sky from the comfort of your own home.

Choosing a Roof Lantern or Skylight

A lot depends on whether you want something that is purely functional or something which is more decorative. The main reason that home owners tend to go for the roof lantern is that it adds some visible style and elegance to their property. It’s used for areas where, for example, there’s an extension onto the back garden or a conservatory with bi-fold doors which can be opened up during the summer.

Skylights tend to be purely functional than decorative and are great ways to get more light into your room without having an imposing structure. They’ll certainly be your only choice if you have a sloping roof and are ideal for other areas of the home, including loft conversions.

One thing that concerns many people is the potential for heat loss during the winter. Most roof lantern and skylight systems nowadays are made from high quality double glazing which means that this isn’t such big problem. In fact, having sunlight coming through the roof into the property can help boost warmth and even, in some circumstances, lower those heating bills.

The one other primary difference between the two is the cost. Skylights will tend to be cheaper and more easily fitted than your average roof lantern.

Whether you want something that stands out from your roof or a choice that is a little less obtrusive, introducing natural lighting to your roof area is a great way add style and character to any extension. When you’re having your bi-fold doors fitted, it’s worth considering whether you want a skylight or roof lantern included.

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