Skylights, Sky Windows, and Roof Windows: What’s the Difference?

Roofers in London are regularly called on to install skylights. There are also sky windows and roof window products which are becoming more popular – but what is the difference between the three?

Skylights, sky windows, and roof windows are all installed in the roof of a home or other building. They all help to provide a well-lit, inviting space within a building. Bringing natural light into a building through the rooftop helps to improve the look and feel of an internal area and can also save on electrical lighting costs during the daylight hours, especially on an overcast or rainy day when the light that enters via wall windows may not be adequate.

Skylight: A skylight (also called a roof light) is designed to admit a constant spread of light into a home. This is achieved using a diffuser at ceiling level. Skylights may be square or tubular, and these provide different results.

A square skylight provides an adequate source of natural light, whereas a tubular skylight provides greater levels of enhanced light and greater energy efficiency over the same surface area of your roof. A tubular skylight allows for a greater volume of light and a more consistent spread of light throughout a room. It can be transitioned to a square shape at ceiling level if you wish.

A skylight doesn’t provide an actual view of the sky itself nor can it be opened to the outside.

Sky Window: A sky window is a window in the rooftop that allows the admittance of light while also potentially offering a direct view of the sky above. It allows views of blue sky, clouds, moon and stars, and can in some cases, if chosen, be opened for ventilation purposes. It doesn’t diffuse or manipulate the entry of light into a room or its even spread throughout a room as does a skylight.

Roof Window: This is simply a window in your roof that aligns with the plane of the rooftop. Its purpose is for both the admittance of natural light, as well as to provide a visual feature of the surrounding sky and landscape. It is a great addition to a useable attic or attic room. The delivery of light through a roof window will be determined by the orientation of the home and the passage of the sun. Roof windows can be fixed or openable and are often a room feature, allowing the outside world in.

Professional roofers in London can consult with you to determine which of these will best suit your home, your roof, and your needs. If you wish to simply enhance the light within your home with consistent natural light that is spread throughout an entire room, a skylight is your best option. If you wish to bring the outdoors in, a vented roof window or sky window will be right for you, depending on your local landscape and the design of your roof.

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