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What to know when buying a Roof Lantern

Roof Lanterns

Roof Lanterns

If you are currently toying with the idea of extending your home and are thinking about the design, then you should really consider the huge possibilities available with lantern roof extensions.

Roof Lanterns have been a type of daylighting system for many years now and in the past 5 years have made a huge return to being a popular choice amongst architects, roofers and home owners. Roof Lanterns have always been a popular choice due to the availability of larger sizes and their architecual design. But manufacturers are now designing them slimmer, better performing and cheaper to supply than ever before.

Roof Lanterns are nearly always showcased as part of picture-perfect home extensions in magazines and on TV. This is because they offer that stunning wow factor which is enough to instantly want one before any of the practical benefits of having a lantern are even considered.

Sitting atop a larger roof, flat roof lanterns are constructed from a minimum of four panes of glass held together by elevated frames, usually made of either aluminium or PVC.

This minimalistic design means glass roof lanterns can be installed in next to no time, even faster still if you purchase on of our Skypods that are ready-built! This causes very few problems as far as building regulations and planning applications go and most of the time planning permission isnt needed.

There is now a huge choice Lanterns available on the market and various designs and materials used between them all. So, a few options, lets run through some things!

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Types of Roof Lanterns

Types of Roof Lanterns


Though there are numerous different flat roof window designs that can act as a source of daylight in your home, none are quite effective as roof lanterns. Given their size, large panes and lack of frame, lantern rooflights are built in a slimline design that maximises sunlight.

PVC Roof Lanterns have always been a popular choice due to their relatively low cost to supply, but they have always been bulky and people often look towards an Aluminium Roof Lantern for their slimmer glazing bars. But PVC Lanterns have come a long way and there are various options available that boast slimline glazing bars and stunning finishes in a range of colours. Skypod Roof Lanterns are a perfect example. Skypod Roof Lanterns give you superior performance, variety in frame colour and offer probably the best PVC finish we have seen on a lantern, and best of all they are extremely low cost to supply.

But if you want to go slimmer still, Aluminium Roof Lanterns can give you an extremely slimline finish because the glazing bar isn't cladded with PVC, it's powder coated instead. But this process of manufacturing does add to cost. We offer a range of Whitesales Roof Lanterns which are slimline powder coated rooflights, available on a 2 - 3 day delivery.

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What size Roof Lantern do I need?

What size Roof Lantern do I need?

We get asked this question all the time and most of the time we explain that this comes down to personal preference. But the size of your rooflight will need to factor in a number of aspects related to the size of your roof and the layout of the room below.

The most obvious thing to consider is the size of your new or existing roof. People usually want to go as big as possible to maximise daylight, but you will need to ensure you have enough space around the Rooflight for enough waterproofing and make sure you have no obstructions on the roof, which is why it’s rare for a roof lantern to span the entirety of the roof. It’s quite common, though, to see roof lanterns installed in the middle of the roof, as a center piece.

If you have seen any of our Roof Lanterns including Skypods and Em-Glaze Roof Lanterns that you like the look of, feel free to send us an external shot of your current roof or a sketch of your plans so that we can recommend some ideal sizes.

You don't always have to go big. Even a smaller 100 x 100cm lantern can let in a surprising amount of sunlight, whith the slim glazing bars and maximum amount of glazing, there is little light restriction.

Popular sizes are 100x150, 100x200, 150x250, 150x300cm. We even offer a really big roof lantern at 5000 x 2500mm (But we can go bigger still!)

You will want to consider what is going directly below the lantern as this will be most illuminated by the lantern and incoming daylight. This might be a a kitchen island or dining table. This is why the roof lantern size and overall room layout are so closely worked together.
How to measure for a Roof Lantern?

How to measure for a Roof Lantern?


When you browse our range of Roof Lanterns, each product will have a size relating to the product you are looking at. This is usually always the external kerb size (width x length), not the hole in the roof size.

If you have an existing upstand on site, then please take an external and internal measurement of the upstand and contact us. This may require a bespoke roof lantern which is something we are happy to assist with.

With most glass lanterns, upstands are required to be constructed on site by the roofer/carpenter. This external timber does not normally come with the lantern. The eaves of the roof lantern sit flush on the upstand with a bit of an overhang to create a drip edge for weathering.

As required by Building Regulations, the external kerb should protrude at least 150mm from the roof to allow for adequate rain water runoff. (this applies to all Rooflights and Skylights)

If in doubt always consult your Roofer, Builder, Architect or Design Planner. Alternatively feel free to contact us today for any further information or help you may need.

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