Roof lanterns are becoming increasingly popular, particularly in urban properties or where space is at a premium. Many confuse them with skylights, and although there are some similarities, roof lanterns have a bigger role to play in the home than a skylight. But does that increasing popularity mean that they are also right for your home? This month we explore the benefits and drawbacks of roof lanterns to help you decide.

What exactly is a roof lantern?

A roof lantern is a window in your roof. Constructed as a raised frame and with glass panels, it adds architectural interest to your home and offers a flood of natural light, while at night time it offers up an unobstructed view of the stars.

What are its benefits?

As well as providing plenty of natural daylight, there are a number of other benefits that a roof lantern brings:

  • Ventilation. Unlike skylights, roof lanterns can be opened providing plenty of natural ventilation when you need it. This can help keep fresh, cool air flowing through your home in the summer and prevent a build-up of condensation during the winter. As it sits on the roof, the air that it draws in will be cleaner than that coming in from windows that face roads or other buildings.
  • Privacy.  Many residents in urban areas feel that they are overlooked by neighbours, or simply too close to others’ homes around them, so they live with curtains and blinds drawn for much of the time. A roof lantern allows you to have daylight without compromising on privacy as the chances of being overlooked are much lower.
  • Lower bills. More natural light means less artificial light, saving on your energy bill. Roof lanterns are also designed to meet the strictest energy efficiency standards and are double glazed, saving money on heating bills too.
  • An increase in value. All these benefits will add up to making a home with a well-designed and installed roof lantern more desirable, adding to the value of your property when you come to sell or rent it out.

Other things to consider

One key consideration is the type of property you have and its location. If you are in a listed building or conservation area there may be restrictions on the installation of more modern features. Talk to your local council’s planning team as a starting point or consult the government’s Planning Portal to see whether you are likely to need planning permission for one.

Your roof’s structure may also need to be strengthened to be able to withstand the additional weight that a roof lantern will add to it. A specialist can advise you on whether or not this is necessary and what you will need to do if it is.

For more targeted advice on whether a roof lantern is right for you and your property get in touch with our team at Parsons Joinery. Call us on 01273 814870 or drop us a line at and we will be delighted to help.