Skylight Window: What are they?


Skylight Window, also known as a roof light in the UK, are windows installed in the roof of a house or extension. They are designed to bring natural light into spaces that might not receive enough daylight through traditional windows. 

Skylights are a popular addition to homes, providing aesthetic and practical benefits. Although they are correctly called a Skylight Window, they are often referred to as : roof lights, roof windows, windows in roofs, flat roof windows, skylights and more.

 In this article, we will discuss what a skylight window is, the different types of skylights and their glazing options, and answer frequently asked questions about skylights.

What is a skylight window?

A skylight window is a roof window that allows sunlight to penetrate from above, illuminating interior spaces and creating a brighter, more welcoming environment. Skylights can transform dark, gloomy rooms into vibrant living spaces by introducing natural light.

Benefits of installing a skylight window 

Incorporating skylights into your home aesthetics brings a number of benefits: 

Natural Light and Energy Savings: Skylights reduce the need for artificial lighting, leading to energy savings.

Health Benefits: Natural light has a positive impact on mood, productivity, and overall well-being.

Aesthetic Appeal: Skylights enhance the interior design of a home, making spaces feel larger and more open.

Property Value: Adding skylights can increase the resale value of a home.

Considerations before installation a skylight window 

Before installing skylights, make sure you consider the following: 

Roof Structure and Material: Assessing the roof structure and material is crucial for proper installation.

Weather and Climate: Different climates affect the choice and placement of skylights.

Building Codes and Permits: Check local building codes and obtain necessary permits.

Professional Installation vs. DIY: Weigh the pros and cons of hiring professionals versus doing it yourself.

What are the different types of skylight windows?

There are a range of different types of skylights available on the market, including: 

Ventilating skylight windows

Ventilating skylights, also known as vented skylights, can be opened to allow fresh air to circulate. These skylights are beneficial for reducing indoor humidity and improving air quality, making them ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas prone to moisture.

GFD Homes Roof Lantern on the left ceiling and roof light on the right ceiling, enhancing the room aesthetics.
Roof Lantern on the left ceiling and roof light on the right ceiling enhancing the room aesthetics

Roof lanterns and roof lights both come with a range of benefits, including the addition of more natural light in the home.

Fixed skylight windows

Fixed skylights are non-operable windows that provide natural light without the option for ventilation. They are perfect for spaces where additional light is needed, such as hallways, stairwells, or attics, without the need for airflow.

Metal-framed skylight windows

Metal-framed skylights offer durability and strength. The metal frame supports larger panes of glass, making them suitable for expansive skylight designs. These skylights are often used in commercial buildings but can also enhance residential spaces by providing a sleek, modern look.

Tubular skylight windows

Tubular skylights consist of a small, round skylight on the roof connected to a reflective tube that channels light into the interior. These skylights are perfect for tight spaces, such as closets, bathrooms, and hallways, where traditional skylights might not fit. Tubular skylights are highly efficient in capturing and diffusing light throughout the space.

Centre-pivot skylight window

Centre-pivot skylights feature a central hinge that allows the window to rotate. This design makes them easy to clean and operate, and they can be used to provide both light and ventilation. These skylights are versatile and can be installed in various roof pitches, offering flexibility in design and functionality.

GFD Homes Roof Lantern installed on flat roof of a home.
Roof Lantern installed on flat roof of a home

Need a roofing solution that offers ventilation too? Check out our roof lanterns range. 

What are the types of skylight window glazing?

When it comes to glazing options for skylights, there are 2 main options to choose from: 

Glass glazing

Glass glazing is the most common type of skylight glazing. It offers clear views, excellent durability, and can be double or triple-glazed for better insulation and energy efficiency. Glass skylights are often treated with coatings to reduce heat gain and UV radiation, enhancing their performance and comfort.

Plastic glazing

Plastic glazing, usually made from acrylic or polycarbonate, is a lightweight and cost-effective alternative to glass. While not as durable or clear as glass, plastic glazing is less likely to break and can be moulded into various shapes and sizes. This type of glazing is ideal for areas where weight and safety are concerns.

GFD Homes Korniche Skylight Window installed on a flat roof of a home.
Korniche Skylight Window installed on a flat roof of a home

When considering roof light vs skylights, remember that they’re essentially the same thing!

Find the Perfect Skylight Window for You with GFD Homes

At GFD Homes, we’re proud to specialise in providing high-quality skylights (roof lights) and roof lanterns to enhance your living spaces. Our range of products includes various types and styles to suit your needs and preferences. Whether you need a fixed skylight for your hallway or a ventilating skylight for your kitchen, we’re confident we have the perfect solution for your home. 

GFD Homes Get an instant online price for Korniche Skylight Window.
Get an instant online price for Korniche Skylight Window.

If you need help choosing the right skylight to maximise natural light and improve the aesthetics of your home, please call our team on 01642 309576. 

To see a roof light in person, call us on the number above to book a visit to our impressive showroom. 

FAQs about Skylights

What’s the difference between a skylight and a Velux?

Velux is a brand name known for its high-quality roof windows and skylights. While all Velux products are skylights, not all skylights are Velux. Velux offers a wide range of skylight options, including fixed, ventilating, and solar-powered models, known for their innovation and reliability.

What is the difference between a skylight window and a laylight?

A skylight is installed in the roof to bring natural light into the space below, while a laylight is an interior fixture that diffuses light, often used under a skylight to spread the light more evenly throughout the room. Laylights are typically used in commercial or large residential buildings to enhance interior lighting.

What are the most popular types of skylights?

The most popular types of skylights include:

  • Fixed skylights: Known for their simplicity and cost-effectiveness.
  • Ventilating skylights: Valued for their dual functionality of providing light and ventilation.
  • Tubular skylights: Appreciated for their versatility in small spaces and high efficiency.

What is an alternative to skylights?

An alternative to skylights is roof lanterns. Roof lanterns are architectural features that sit on a flat roof, providing a similar function to skylights by allowing natural light into the room below but often with more decorative appeal. They can create a stunning focal point in a room and enhance the overall aesthetics of a space.

Is a dormer a skylight?

No, a dormer is not a skylight. A dormer is a structural element that extends from the roof, creating additional headroom and space within the room, typically with a vertical window. In contrast, a skylight is a window installed directly in the roof, designed to bring light into the space below without extending the roofline.

What types of treatments can I put on skylights?

Skylights can be fitted with various treatments to control light and privacy, including:

  • Blinds: Available in various styles and materials to match your decor.
  • Shades: Can be manual or motorised, offering ease of use and light control.
  • Films: Applied directly to the glazing to reduce glare, heat gain, and UV damage.

These treatments can help manage glare, reduce heat gain, and protect furnishings from UV damage, ensuring that your skylights provide comfort and efficiency year-round.

Can a skylight window be installed in any type of roof? 

Skylights can be installed in most types of roofs, including flat, pitched, and domed roofs. However, the installation process and the type of skylight used may vary depending on the roof structure and material. It is essential to consult with a professional to determine the best skylight option and installation method for your specific roof type.

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