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A Complete Guide To Roof Lanterns


If you’re looking to increase the light levels in your home, a roof lantern is a great way to do it. When the sun is directly overhead, the rays will beam directly into your house and create a warm, inviting glow. Roof lanterns have become increasingly popular in the last few years and many homeowners have taken advantage of them.

Roof lanterns are glass installations that are specifically designed for flat surfaces. They project upwards and let in three times as much light as a standard window. They’re not suitable for sloping roofs (for example, in attic extensions) but can be placed on almost any kind of flat one. They also add a certain elegance and drama to your home; place one above your dining room, and you’ll get a full view of the starlit night to accompany your dinner.

Here at Alufold Direct, we’re proud of our aluminium roof lanterns. We make them with the finest quality metal for extra durability and think they’re an ideal alternative to traditional conservatories. This comprehensive guide will explain why you should consider installing a roof lantern.

Popular Styles

If you’re not familiar with the term, roof lanterns are triangular raised windows that look similar to glass pyramids. They’re sometimes confused with skylights, which are closer to regular windows and fit within the roof's structure. Roof lanterns and skylights are closely-related, and both are intended to catch light from above, but they’re not quite the same. We supply skylights here at Alufold Direct and recommend checking out their product page if interested.

Roof lanterns have existed for centuries and were first developed during the middle ages. One of the oldest examples is on the Florence Baptistery in Italy, which was constructed between 1059 and 1128. They originally appeared on Cathedrals, but by the 16th century, they became popular with orangery owners. As their name suggests, orangeries were used for growing citrus fruits, so lanterns were ideal for maximising the sunlight.

Renaissance-era roof lanterns were usually made with timber, but this was gradually replaced with metal during the Victorian period. The basic design has remained relatively unchanged since then, and modern roof lanterns don’t look drastically different from their earlier forebears.

Traditional, Victorian-style roof lanterns are still widely used across Britain, albeit with modern upgrades. The materials are more robust and less prone to leaks, while additions like electric openings make them easier to operate. Slimline roof lanterns are common too, especially in larger, rectangular-shaped rooms. They’re sleek and slender, with minimal sightlines and more glazing, offering better views of the sky overhead. The chunkier bars and supports of the older designs have fallen out of fashion, and homeowners are more interested in increased glass surface areas.

You can read more about the different types of roof lanterns in this article.

Maintenance Guide

As they’re exposed to the elements, roof lanterns occasionally require cleaning. Airbourne dirt, grime and bird mess can leave the glass looking filthy, but thankfully it doesn’t take much effort to make them look good as new. There's no specialist techniques to worry about and whether you've got a modern or Victorian roof lantern, the practice is the same; simply use a bucket of warm, soapy water and a sponge to give your lantern a good scrub. Just make sure that someone holds your ladder before climbing up.

Otherwise, your roof lantern shouldn’t require much maintenance. The aluminium we use is highly resilient and should withstand even the most severe weather conditions. Leaks and structural damage are unlikely, and the coating is resistant to fading, so it won’t need repainting. In the rare cases where problems develop, it’s always best to contact a professional to sort out repairs, but we’re so confident this won’t happen that we offer a 10-year guarantee on all our roof lanterns.


Metal roof lanterns have a wide variety of customisation options, with the glass, colour, and configurations all adapted to your personal taste. For example, the glazing can be clear or blue-tinted for extra solar reflection and given premium upgrades for noise reduction and additional security. Roof lanterns are also powdercoated to protect the finish from fading, and are available in any colour from the RAL or British Standard Colour Chart. White, anthracite grey and black are the most frequently used, but if you want a more vibrant splash of colour, you can have one.

Thanks to the strength and versatility of modern aluminium, there’s a good choice of sizes and shapes available. Roof lanterns come in the standard four-pane variant, but multi-pane alternatives are possible too. At Alufold Direct, our roof lanterns can be up to 4.5m and can also be designed to match your existing decor.


Building technology has come a long way since roof lanterns first appeared, and you can now depend on reliable, secure performance. They’re fitted with modern safety glass, which is very hard to break so they won’t just perform well, they will provide extra security against unwanted intruders as well.

Plus, when fitted with double-glazing, modern roof lanterns deliver u-values as low as 1.3 W/m²K. They are highly energy efficient and perfect for keeping your home warmer in summer and cooler in the winter. You can improve this even further by fitting them with roof lantern blinds, which you can read more about here.

Costs & Prices

The cost of roof lanterns depends on a variety of factors. The design, property location, size, and installation fees will all affect the final price. According to Checkatrade, you can expect the average price of a roof lantern to be in the region of £2550. You can learn more about pricing in this article.

For a more personalised estimate, we recommend an online quote, or you can contact us for additional information. You can reach us on 01706 260700 or via email at

Delivery Information

Our state-of-the-art facilities not only allow us to help you in every stage of the process from design to installation, but also gives us the opportunity to hold large amounts of stock. This guarantees fast delivery of our aluminium windows, so that you can impress your customers and get the job done quickly.

Here at AluFold Direct, our turnarounds are some of the fastest in the industry, meaning your windows can be delivered to suit your project’s schedule, helping you stick to deadlines, saving time and money for everyone involved. Check the latest lead times here.

We deliver nationwide, all across the UK from Inverness to the Channel Islands, direct to site in an unmarked van for an uninterrupted installation process. Alternatively, if you’re near to our Blackburn base, you can collect your aluminium windows or doors direct from our factory.

Roof Lanterns Guarantee

For complete peace of mind, all AluFold Direct windows and doors are covered with a limited 10-year guarantee.

Please visit our guarantee page to learn more.