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The content contained in this Good Roofing Guide article is for information purposed only. While every effort is made to ensure this article is accurate at the time of posting, JJ Roofing Supplies would recommend that you always seek to use a professional roofer for completing all roofing related jobs.

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Roof Lanterns Buying Guide

Roof lanterns are a beautiful and stylish way to add light and space to your home. You can install them in any room, but they are trendy in kitchens, extensions, and conservatories.

If you are thinking about buying a roof lantern, there are a few things you need to know. This blog post guides buyers on roof lanterns, including their styles, size options, purpose and finding the best price.

What are roof lanterns?

Roof lanterns comprise a raised structure with transparent panels, typically glass or polycarbonate, which lets the sunshine into the space. Roof lanterns enhance the aesthetics of your house and provide an alternative to traditional windows or skylights. 

Homes, businesses, and conservatories often have different designs and sizes of roof light lanterns. Window lanterns have practical and decorative uses, which improve lighting and airflow and are visually attractive centrepieces.

Benefits of installing roof lanterns

Installing roof light lanterns offers several benefits, making them an increasingly popular architectural choice. Some expected benefits are:

  • Maximised natural light: Roof lanterns efficiently capture and amplify natural sunlight, creating well-lit and welcoming interiors.
  • Reduced need for artificial light: Transparent roof panels reduce the need for artificial lighting, saving energy and lowering electricity expenses.
  • Enhanced Ventilation: Roof lanterns improve indoor air quality by facilitating air circulation promoting a healthier living or working environment.
  • Unique curb appeal: Roof light lanterns look excellent and make the space more attractive. They are a standout feature that improves the overall look. A high lantern roof makes rooms feel more extensive and open, giving a sense of grandeur.
  • Alternative to roof windows: Roof lanterns are a great alternative when regular windows or skylights are not feasible. They provide natural light and enhance the aesthetics of a space.

Choosing the best roof lantern for your home

Roof lanterns are essential to your home's overall structure or visual appeal, so you must select the best one for your property. You should balance the roof lantern's size, material, and design, which is essential for its efficient functionality. The following section discusses choosing the right size, frame, and glazing for roof lanterns. 

Choosing the right size 

As mentioned above, choosing the right size for roof lanterns is a crucial decision that can significantly impact the aesthetics and functionality of a space. 

  • Room Size: To choose the right size for your roof light lanterns, one of the primary considerations is the size of the room or space where the roof lantern will be installed.  A larger room, such as a living room or a house extension, may require a bigger roof lantern to illuminate the entire area effectively. Similarly, a smaller space may benefit from a more modest-sized lantern to maintain a balanced and proportional design.
  • Purpose: What you need the roof lantern for is another crucial factor. For example, in a kitchen or living area with ample natural light, a larger roof lantern may be preferable to flood the space with sunlight. On the other hand, in a bedroom or study where more controlled lighting is preferred, a smaller roof light lantern may be suitable to create a cosy atmosphere.
  • Architectural Structure: The property's architectural design also plays a role in determining the appropriate size of the roof lantern. The roof lantern's design should complement the overall aesthetic, blending seamlessly with the existing structure. A sleek, modern building may benefit from a large, minimalist roof lantern, while a more traditional or historical building might require a design that reflects its heritage.
  • Sun path: You must also consider the structure's orientation and the sun's path. A well-placed roof lantern can capture and maximise natural light throughout the day, reducing the need for artificial lighting and enhancing energy efficiency.

In addition to these factors, it's essential to think about the practical aspects, such as maintenance and ventilation. A well-designed roof lantern should be easy to clean and provide options for ventilation to regulate temperature and air circulation within the space.

JJ Roofing Supplies offers roof lanterns in various sizes, from small roof lights to large conservatory-style lanterns. From the smaller sizes of 1000x1000 to the whopping 6000x4000 by Korniche, we stock multiple sizes to cater to your roof's needs. 

Choosing the right frame

Selecting the right frame for roof lanterns is a crucial aspect that influences the aesthetics and performance of your house or property. The choice of frame material can impact the lantern's durability, energy efficiency, and overall visual appeal.

Common frame materials include aluminium, timber, and uPVC. Aluminium frames offer a sleek and modern appearance, are durable, and require minimal maintenance. They also provide excellent structural integrity, allowing for larger, more expansive roof lantern designs.

On the other hand, timber frames bring a timeless and natural aesthetic to your property. Wood provides a warm and classic look, enhancing the overall ambience. However, timber requires regular maintenance to preserve its appearance and protect against weathering.

uPVC frames offer a cost-effective and low-maintenance solution. They are durable, weather-resistant, and provide sound insulation. uPVC frames come in various colours, allowing for customisation to match the design and style of the building.

When choosing a frame, it's crucial to consider factors such as the architectural build of the property, maintenance preferences, and the desired aesthetic. The right frame not only supports the structural integrity of the roof lantern but also contributes to the overall visual harmony of the space.

Different glazing / energy-saving options

JJ Roofing Supplies offers a range of high-quality glazing options for roof lanterns, including Ambi-Blue Self-Cleaning and Ambi-SunShade Blue from Korniche. 

The Ambi-Blue glass provides a subtle blue tint, reflecting 60% of the sun's heat rays and boasting a 53% light transmission rating. The Ambi-SunShade Blue glass is the top-performing solar-controlled option, with an impressive 80% solar heat retention and 20% higher heat reflection than Ambi-Blue. Both options are self-cleaning, offering a practical and visually appealing choice for roof lanterns.

On the other hand, atlas roof lanterns offer self-cleaning glazing, which means the roof lanterns have a special self-clean coating with a microscopic film. The self-cleaning glass helps daylight and rainwater break down, allowing dirt and grime to wash away. It also uses rain and UV light from the sun to efficiently combat dirt and grime that accumulate outside the window, reducing the need for manual cleaning.

Choosing the correct position and location for a roof lantern

When selecting the right place and location for a roof lantern, there are a few key factors to consider:

  • Sunlight: Roof lanterns are designed to let in natural light, so choosing a location where they will receive plenty of sun is essential. Check the orientation of your roof and the time of day when you use the room where the roof lantern will be installed. For example, if you want to maximise the amount of sunlight in your kitchen in the morning, you would place the roof lantern on the east-facing side of the roof.
  • Ventilation: Roof lanterns can also help improve your home's ventilation. By choosing the right location where the roof lanterns, you can create a natural airflow that will help to keep your home cool in the summer.
  • Views: If you have stunning views from your roof or any particular room, you should place the roof lantern where you can enjoy them. However, balancing this with other factors, such as sunlight and ventilation, is also necessary. 
  • Overhang: You should also choose a location where the roof lantern will have a sufficient overhang, as this protects it from the elements and prevents water ingress.
  • Structural support: Roof lanterns are heavy structures, so you must also choose a location where the roof joists and rafters can appropriately support them. 

Which roof lantern brand to choose from?

At JJ Roofing Supplies, we stock a range of high-quality roof lanterns from reputable brands such as Atlas and Korniche. Both brands are known for their innovative designs, durable construction, and excellent energy efficiency.

Atlas roof lanterns, a leading UK manufacturer, offers contemporary and traditional roof lanterns with sleek aluminium frames, providing a modern aesthetic and excellent views. 

Korniche roof lanterns, known for high-quality craftsmanship and energy efficiency, are a respected choice with a wide range of options. 

Feature Atlas Lanterns Korniche Roof Lanterns
Style Contemporary and traditional Traditional and contemporary
Frame material Aluminium Aluminium and timber
Energy efficiency Excellent Excellent
 Additional features Self-cleaning glass, integrated blinds None

Do I need permission for a roof lantern?

You do not need permission for a roof lantern, usually. Whether planning permission is required for a roof lantern depends on specifics. Generally, if it's under 150mm above the roof, not taller than the highest point, side windows are obscurely glazed, and roof openings are at least 1.7m above the floor, no permission is needed; otherwise, apply to your local council.

How much are lantern roofs?

Roof lantern costs can vary depending on the size, glazing and features. At JJ Roofing Supplies, our range of roof light lanterns ranges from £667 to £6000. 

Can you add a roof lantern to existing roofs?

Yes, adding a roof lantern to an existing roof is possible. However, there are a few things to consider, such as roof type and structure, planning permission, installation process and roof lantern costs.