Roof Lanterns Vs Roof Lights: Which is best? 


With the popularity of Roof Lights and Lanterns increasing and homeowners now faced with the difficult decision of which one to go for, we’ve created this article to help you decide which one may be best. 

Roof Lanterns

For those wanting a stunning architectural addition to their home, Roof Lanterns seem to be the easy choice. Not only are they better when it comes to channelling light from all angles, but as a bonus they’re also really good at making the room feel so much bigger. This is down to the fact that they open up the ceiling more towards the sky, causing light flow to maximise and also provide additional height, altering the ergonomics of the room.

When looking closely at Roof Lanterns, you’ll notice that their structure consists of glazed bars, something they’ll always need and rely upon as a support mechanism for the glass. The only issue with Roof Lanterns can be that you will always see the glazed bars when you stand underneath it, whereas with Roof Lights, you won’t. A way to get around this can be as simple as opting for lanterns that have minimal glazing bar connectors. This will help to maximise the impact on the look and light that can pass through it.

Roof Lights

If you’d rather not see anything from the outside of the property, Roof Lights may be the one for you as they sit very low to the roof. If you choose one that has been manufactured to the internal dimensions, it’ll allow for much more light to enter the room, usually 25% more light. They instantly and unobtrusively brighten up any extension.

Our Atlas Roof Lights make a stunning addition to any home, with bespoke sizes available too. 


With the overall structure of a Roof Light similar to that of a window, you’ll notice that they look very similar too. Whilst there’s nothing immediately unattractive about Roof Lights, they’re not really seen as a design feature, more chosen for the impact the natural light they offer has on the home. If the roof is flat, you most likely won’t even see the Roof Light from the ground.

With Roof Lanterns, you’ll always find that they have more of an architectural elegance about them. Even having just a small sized one installed has the ability to add a decorative flourish to the roof of the extension. The super strong contrast between the frames and shaped glass panels is striking enough on its own, whilst the pitch will really add a structural appeal to a plain roof.

Size & Shape

With a Roof Light, you’ll most likely be restricted on potential sizes as they consist of only one pane of glass per frame and the frame strength and weight of the glass will limit the size. Even with the strength of aluminium frames, gravity will still only allow the Roof Light to be of a certain size.

A way to get around this limitation is by having many roof lights, rather than just 1 on its own. However, whilst this may be great in terms of visual impact, it can also look cluttered and you’re still restricted on how many you can have without compromising the structure of the roof.

In comparison, Roof Lanterns can be much bigger in size as they can have multiple glass units and even support rafters for larger sizes. They can actually go as big as 2000 x 4000mm to fill the home with beautiful rays of sunlight and their pitched shape has been optimally designed for catching the most light throughout the day.


One of the biggest differences between Roof Lights and Roof Lanterns is based on the amount of ventilation that they offer.

You’re unable to open Roof Lights to allow for airflow into the property, so If airflow is something you require, Roof Lanterns may be better as you can add openers to them for airflow. 


When it comes to cleaning, Roof Lights have the instant upper hand. You can clean them using an extendable washing pole or a sturdy ladder (with a willing assistant to hold it of course!).

Even with tools, the multiple angles Roof Lanterns have make them a little more awkward to clean, especially if you’re planning on standing on the floor and holding extendable tools. With a Roof Light, you just need to worry about reaching one angle as it’s flat with the roof.

However, If you choose the right Roof Lantern, this won’t be much of an issue. The tint options we provide include Self-Cleaning Glass, meaning the specialist glass comes with a coating engineered to allow light and rainwater to break down and wash away dirt or grime that has built up on the surface.


Surprisingly, there is very little difference between the standard price of a Roof Lantern and Roof Light per m2. The major differences in prices come down to the size. As you’re able to get much larger lanterns designed, it makes sense for these to cost the most.

As Roof Lanterns don’t usually come preassembled, they can sometimes cost more to install, however, Roof Lanterns such as the Korniche Lantern are super easy to install and can be fitted in as little as 30 mins! 

For more information on the price of Roof Lanterns, click here.


When it comes to choosing which one to go for, many factors can influence the decision.

Roof Lights are an easy investment as they’re very easy to install, don’t alter the property look too much and allow natural sunlight in to brighten the room up.

That said, Roof Lanterns have a stunning shape, architectural style and structure that they bring to any property. They’re always able to hold enough classic elegance to suit a period property, with clean, minimalistic profiles that look perfect with contemporary builds too! You’ll also get the maximum amount of light filling up the room. 

If you’re in need of some more information or have some questions, just get in touch with us – we’re happy to help!

FAQs about Roof Lanterns Vs Roof Lights

Which one has a quicker installation time? 

Our very popular Korniche Roof lantern has the quickest installation time – installation is around 30 minutes for a standard size! 

Is there a minimum space size required for roof lights and roof lanterns? 

As you can get bespoke sizes made, minimum space sizes can be different for each manufacturer.  

Which is more energy efficient? 

Surprisingly, both are as good as each other. This is due to the fact that they rely on the glazing to make them energy efficient. However, Atlas roof lanterns can be ordered with triple glazing which provides terrific U values as low as 0.8.

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Tia Ellahi
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