Skylights vs Roof Lanterns – Best Options for Your Home

By 26th October 2018 Roof Lanterns, Sky Lights

As well as choosing new windows for your home, there are some other glazing options you may like to consider which have a variety of benefits for your property. Two of the most popular choices are skylights and roof lanterns, with both enhancing the amount light coming into your rooms from above. It’s useful to know some of the differences so that you can select the best option for your home.

Skylights vs roof lanterns: glazing & window design guides | Merton Windows

Skylights: Pros & Cons

Skylights sit within the roof’s construction, usually a smaller square window on the sloping part of the roof. They’re often chosen for those homes with loft conversions or along sloping exterior walls.


Skylights are a great way to let more natural light into a room which can have multiple effects, including making the area look more spacious and enhancing the energy efficiency of the home. Skylights can also be opened if you’ve selected this design option, helping to ventilate a room from above. Skylights are particularly great when located in a bedroom, providing a snapshot of the world above.


Skylights are mostly suitable for pitched roofing, so if you’re looking to let light in above a flat roof, a roof lantern is often the better choice. They’re also much smaller than roof lanterns, so if increasing the amount of light into a room is your priority, you may like to consider larger glazing elements.

Roof Lanterns: Pros & Cons

Much larger in comparison, roof lanterns are more of an architectural feature, sitting above a flat roof of a home. This means they can usually be seen above the plane of the roof if standing outside and are often chosen for conservatories, orangeries or an extension such as a larger kitchen.


As a larger glazing element than a skylight, you can expect this feature to be more impactful. Roof lanterns are loved for creating expansive aerial views of the skies above. Picture dining under the stars or relaxing in the comfort of your home with blue skies above. They’re a great way of letting the outside in while producing welcoming, bright and warm spaces within your property. You can also create more of a feature of the home with a roof lantern, choosing between a range of designs, including grand, traditional and contemporary styles.


Roof lanterns are more expensive and complex to install, often involving a wider area of the roof which needs to be risk assessed before the project can go ahead. The glass will be quite heavy, so a professional team will construct your roof lantern onsite. You’ll also need to consider planning permission laws with both products, but as the larger of the two, roof lanterns may require more consideration.

Want some expert advice?

If you’re deciding between skylights and roof lanterns, ask for a free consultation and quotation from the team at Merton Windows. We cover an extensive area of Surrey and London, including Fulham, New Malden and Wandsworth. Contact us now to find out more about roof lanterns, skylights and other glazing products we have available.