When undergoing a home renovation, you might be wondering about whether to install a skylight or a roof lantern. There are benefits to both, with homes all over the country reaping the rewards that come from the installation of skylights and roof lanterns. However, many people frequently ask – what is the difference between the two? That’s what we’re here to tell you! Here are the main differences between a skylight and a roof lantern – let’s help you make your decision…

What is a skylight?

A skylight is essentially a window in your roof structure. It is installed so that it is sitting within your roof and is usually almost undetectable from the outside. It sits flat within the roof structure, letting an abundance of natural light in through the ceiling. Skylights are frequently used in loft conversions and on slanted roofs.

What is a roof lantern?

A roof lantern is a large window structure that is installed on top of a flat roof. This means that it protrudes from the roof structure and can be seen visibly from the outside. A roof lantern is usually in the shape of a pyramid, with the centre of the window being higher than the rest.

What are the main differences between a skylight and a roof lantern?

There are various differences between a skylight and a roof lantern. The following are things you should consider when thinking about which option to install in your home:


The main difference between a skylight and roof lantern is its aesthetics. As a roof lantern protrudes from the ceiling much more, it is visible from the outside, whereas a skylight sits flush within the roof. This should be a consideration when it comes to how you would like the outside of your property to look.


With a roof lantern, there are often more options for personalisation. Customisation is easier with a roof lantern, as you can change the pattern of the glass panels for a different style within your window. There are also colour options available for both skylights and roof lanterns.

Natural light

The amount of natural light that can enter your room through a roof lantern and a skylight varies. Generally, skylights are smaller than roof lanterns. This means that the amount of natural light allowed in won’t be as much as with a roof lantern, which is why many people elect to install more than one in their roof.

Thermal efficiency

Both skylights and roof lanterns have benefits for your home in terms of the increased thermal efficiency they provide. A roof lantern may be more beneficial in this regard, as its pyramid structure traps light at all times of day. The angled panels allow this to happen, and this means that the amount of heat retention in your home is more constant than with a flat skylight.

When choosing a skylight or a roof lantern, considering these differences will allow you to make an informed decision. As the main differences are aesthetic, focus on which option will follow your home’s style, as well as the benefits it can provide you with. Here at Channel Windows, we can help you make a decision, as well as inform you about our choice of styles! Contact us on 01304 379991 or email info@channelwindows.co.uk.