Everything you need to know

Flat Rooflights vs. Roof Lanterns

by Roof Maker

As more homeowners look to enhance their living spaces, the importance of choosing the right architectural elements cannot be understated.

Flat Rooflights vs. Roof Lanterns: Which Is Best For You?

Natural lighting solutions like rooflights, play a pivotal role in transforming living spaces. But when faced with options like flat rooflights and roof lanterns, which is the best fit for your project? Let’s delve into the differences to help you make an informed decision.

Understanding Rooflights and Roof Lanterns

Rooflights come in various designs, each suited to different architectural styles and practical needs. Flat rooflights are sleek and sit flush with the roof, providing a clean, modern look without altering the roofline. On the other hand, roof lanterns are 3D structured, glass units that rise above the roof surface, offering a bold, classic aesthetic that can serve as a room’s centrepiece.

Installed Slimline<sup>®</sup> lantern
Fixed Flat Rooflights


Flat Rooflights

These are ideal for homeowners seeking a minimalistic design. They are barely noticeable from the exterior, preserving the building’s original lines and aesthetics. It is also possible to join multiple flat rooflights together to create a much larger modular system. These can be combined in many different configurations.

Roof Lanterns

In contrast, roof lanterns make a dramatic architectural statement. They can transform an ordinary room into a spectacular space, enhancing both the internal and external views and creating the illusion of greater height and volume.

Light and Space Enhancements

Flat Rooflights

Flat rooflights offer an uninterrupted flow of natural light, brightening up spaces without the complications of shadows cast by structural elements.

Roof Lanterns

Roof lanterns are designed to capture light from various angles throughout the day, significantly brightening the central areas of larger rooms and enhancing the sense of openness.

Roof Maker’s patented Slimline® roof lantern system features the slimmest glazing bars on the market, blending the profiles into the glass unit seals to give clean and minimal lines for maximum light.

Looking up through Slimline Roof Lantern
Large flat rooflight

Installation and Maintenance

Flat Rooflights

Generally easier and less intrusive to install, flat rooflights can be integrated into existing roofs with minimal structural adjustments.

Roof Lanterns

While more complex to install, roof lanterns are often worth the extra effort for the dramatic effect they offer.

Roof Maker’s Slimline Roof Lanterns are available flat packed or installed by Roof Maker. Flat-pack option enables installers to get the rooflight up onto the roof without the costly requirement of a crane.

Some Roof Lanterns may require more maintenance due to their design complexity and exposure. Roof Maker’s stepped glazing units remove the traditional “caps”, so water is free to run off the edge.

Slimline stepped glazing unit graphic
Slimline roof lantern installed on flat roof

Planning and Permissions

Depending on your location, planning permissions may vary. Flat rooflights often do not change the external silhouette of a building and are less likely to require permissions. Roof lanterns, being more prominent, might need approval, especially in conservation areas.

Seeking More Information on Planning Permission?

Always consult your local council’s planning department or engage with an architectural expert to ensure compliance with local regulations and to streamline your project’s approval process.

Choosing between flat rooflights and roof lanterns depends on your specific needs for aesthetics, installation ease, and the architectural character of your home. Each offers unique advantages that can significantly enhance your living environment.

Interested in exploring the ideal rooflight solutions for your home? Contact Roof Maker today at 0116 269 6297. Our experts are here to provide you with tailored advice and help you select the perfect product to transform your space.

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