Roof lights: Know the FactsPublished on 11th February 2015
With more and more people extending their homes to maximise space potential, roof lights have become an increasingly important part of modern architecture, delivering an attractive, practical and financially viable natural light source.
Available in various forms – flat, peaked, lantern – skylights can transform a dull, stuffy room into a bright and airy space, without taking up room on the walls, allowing you more freedom of design, function and storage. Roof lights can also help to improve the ventilation in a property; the apertures can be formed to open fully, or can be supplied with automated vent actuation, which allows you to cater for differences in inside temperature and outside weather, letting in a light summer breeze and keeping out a cold winter frost. Because all Apropos structures – including windows and roof lights – are bespoke, we can also create skylights in practically any shape or size, within the laws of geometry and physics!
Five Roof Light Facts
- There is no distinction between a ‘roof light’ and a ‘skylight’. At Apropos we interchange the two terms for search engine purposes only – it’s a little bit like ‘crisps’ and ‘chips’; we call them one thing, the Americans and Australians another, but they’re still naughty little morsels of crunchy goodness!
- The difference between a skylight and a roof lantern is that a skylight is flat and a roof lantern is raised. Lanterns can either be peaked, or they can be elevated on glazed walls, with a strong aluminium frame and a flat top. Although aesthetics do play a part, it is paramount that you select the right design for the roof structure.
- Roof lights can be installed in listed buildings and conservation areas; you just need to make sure that the design is sympathetic to the building, the installation does not obscure/destroy any unique original features, and that the installation is not visible from the street. If in doubt, check the planning guidelines with your local authority – if you are working with Apropos, we can take care of that for you.
- Skylights and roof lanterns can be fashioned from a range of glazing. At Apropos, we would generally recommend the Pilkington Activ range, as it is self-cleaning. Pilkington Activ Neutral has the added advantage of providing enhanced thermal protection, which can be incredibly beneficial in south-facing loft conversions, reducing heat transference by 65% and helping to regulate temperature in summer.
- You don’t need to base the size of your roof light on the space between your rafters. Structurally, the strong aluminium frame of Apropos skylights will take the slack of the cut rafters. The idea behind installing a roof light is surely to allow as much natural light penetration as possible, so select a size that suits you – don’t be dictated to by misconceptions.