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Roof Light Or Roof Lantern: What’s The Difference?

15 May, 2023

Here at AluFold, we’re extremely proud of our range of roof lights and lanterns. They’re an eye-catching addition to the home and can help fill a living space with sunshine. We’ve worked with people from all walks of life and been involved in a huge number of roofing projects.

However, we’ve also noticed that sometimes people get confused about the terminology. We’ve seen the words ‘roof lanterns,’ ‘roof lights,’ and ‘sky lights’ used interchangeably and almost got the wrong product as a result. So, we thought we’d put together this short article explaining what the difference is. Read on to learn more.

Roof Lights And Roof Lanterns

To be fair, it’s not surprising the two get mixed up. They’re both designed to be installed on the roof and increase household light levels. When the sun is directly overhead, the rays beam straight down into the house and give it a vibrant, welcoming atmosphere. The difference is in their overall shape and use.

Roof lights (or skylights as they’re sometimes called) are typically flat, consist of a single panel and resemble regular windows. They can be installed on flat roofs or sloping ones and are a very popular choice for attic extensions. Roof lights are the more versatile of the two, but because they’re flatter, let less light in.

Aluminium roof lanterns

In contrast, roof lanterns extend upwards, have multiple panels and resemble glass pyramids. In general, they’re bigger and wider than roof lights. They let more light in but have one drawback; they can only be placed on flat surfaces. You’ve likely seen them on top of orangeries or other extensions and despite being one of the oldest architectural designs in the world, there’s a timeless quality about them.

Popular Roof Glazing Options

Roof lanterns and roof lights (or skylights if you prefer) have never really gone out of fashion, but we’ve noticed they’re incredibly popular at the moment. There’s been a trend in the home improvement industry to replace glass conservatory roofs with solid ones, but homeowners don’t want to cut out the overhead light. Consequently, they’re looking for alternative glazing options and they’re turning to roof lights and lanterns.

Whichever one you go for, you’ll make a dramatic difference to the aesthetic of your home. Our roof lights and lanterns benefit from modern technology; they come with double glazing as standard and offer exceptional thermal efficiency. They’re also secure, durable and as aluminium is a comparatively lightweight metal, don’t place too much pressure on the structure of the building. We’re also happy to confirm that contrary to popular belief, they aren’t noisy when it rains.

If you’re interested in the best contemporary roof glazing, you’ve come to the right place. You can request a free online quote today, or email us at to find out more. Get in touch today and see how overhead glazing can improve your next building project.