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Craving more daylight? Try a roof light

Image of a roof lantern roof light in the home of @staying_inn_southsea

Craving more daylight? Try a roof light

Patio doors are a popular way of bringing in more light, but they’re not the only option (though if you missed our blogs on patio doors, read the first here). Look up! Roof lights are an excellent way to let light in too. 

What is a roof light?

A roof light is the general name given to any glass structure set into a roof or ceiling. Within the roof light family, there are two options, skylights and roof lanterns:

A skylight is a flat window set into a roof. It’s laid at the same angle as the roof, which can be flat or pitched: skylights are suitable for both. Some open (manually or via a remote control); others don’t. One tip: even if the skylight opens, make sure you have an alternative source of ventilation so you can air the room without the rain getting in.

A roof lantern is fitted to a flat roof and projects upwards, usually in the shape of a pyramid so that light can come in from all sides.

Image of a roof lantern roof light in the home of @houselust
Image: A roof lantern in the kitchen of @houselust.
What are the different types of skylight and which should I choose?

Fixed flat skylights are perfect if you’re renovating on a budget: they’re affordable and let in plenty of natural light. The downside is that they don’t open so make sure you have an alternative source of ventilation.

Manual flat skylights are great if you want to ventilate your home as well as introduce more natural light. They can be opened by hand or with an opening rod. If you have a tall ceiling, choose electronically controlled skylights instead.

Image of a skylight roof light in the home of @my_best_laid_plans
Image: Skylights in the kitchen of @my_best_laid_plans.
Do I need planning permission for a skylight or roof lantern?

You won’t usually need planning permission for roof lights or skylights, as permitted development rules apply. These allow you to extend a house without needing to apply for planning permission provided you meet specific limitations and conditions. However, planning regulations state that any alteration should project no more that 150mm from the existing roof plane and no alteration can be higher than the highest part of the roof. If you’re in any doubt, check with your local planning authority.

Featured image: A roof lantern seen in the kitchen of @staying_inn_southsea.

Want more? Letting more light into your home can really add value – as well as improve your quality of life. For more on this, check out the other blogs in the series here.