What is the Difference Between Roof Lights or Skylights? | Sunsquare

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What is the Difference Between Roof Lights or Skylights?


If you’re confused about the various terms ‘roof light,’ ‘skylight’ or ‘roof window,’ and what is best in your case, then don’t worry. You wouldn’t be the first person to be confused by it. The fact is, there is little or no difference between the meanings of the different terms. It has just happened that, over time, these different terms have become popular alternatives for what is essentially the same thing. On this website, you will see these different terms cropping up frequently. This is because different people use different terms to search when, really, they are searching for the same thing. Whether you call it roof light, skylight or roof window, the aim remains the same: maximise the natural light levels (and in the cases of non-fixed models – ventilation too) coming into a room or living space. Here at Sunsquare, we specialise in flat roof models. Hopefully this clarification helps you with your decision. If you want to talk through the various options and models with an expert advisor, please contact us.

Uncovering the nuances between rooflights and skylights

In recent years, it may have been prudent to say that there is little or no difference between a rooflight and a skylight. Nevertheless, as the industry has evolved, at the time of writing in 2017, there are increasing nuances between the capabilities and uses of rooflights and skylights. Throughout the remainder of this article we will uncover those distinctions to help put you firmly in the picture.

What is a rooflight?

Rooflights now tend to refer to products fitted within a flat roof, or installed on a pitched roof that’s positioned out of plane with the level of the tiling i.e. standing out from the roof line more so than a skylight or roof window would. Another key difference between a rooflight and a skylight is the former is capable of being installed within listed buildings where new window openings in walls are not permissible. That’s because rooflights do not alter the external aesthetics of a building whilst encouraging abundant levels of natural daylight for interiors.

Rooflights are also commonly installed onto an upstand or kerb system, creating enough height to ensure water run-off when fitted on flat roofs.

What is a skylight?

Today, a skylight refers commonly to products which are installed on traditional pitched roofs, as well as larger bespoke glazed units designed to be fitted on flat roofs and terraces, such as glass box extensions. The skylights installed onto flat roofs are very different to those fitted onto pitched roofs. They are capable of being fitted with electric motors for opening to offer much needed ventilation to interiors as well as roof access in some instances.

What is a roof window?

Roof windows remain a popular addition in the eyes of homeowners. They tend to come in standardised sizes and specifications and their ‘off-the-shelf’ appeal is certainly recognised by those who don’t require a bespoke design that’s made to order for their home. Roof windows must be CE marked prior to sale, meaning manufacturers must be able to declare to customers how their units perform under rigorous test conditions. Roof windows are also included under British Standards regulations (BS EN 14351 – 1:2010) which states they must be fitted in the same orientation and in plane with the surrounding roof, normally at a minimum pitch of 15-degrees. 

 So, now you know the crucial differences between rooflights and skylights, make sure you take a look at Sunsquare’s complete range of flat roof skylights and rooflights, providing sleek, contemporary style and unrivalled performance for homes and workplaces.

Want to find out more?

If you want to know more about this or anything else then get in contact

Call us on +44 (0)1284 723377
Email sales@sunsquare.co.uk

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