Navigating Roof Lantern Sizes – How Big Does it Need to Be?

Updated on November 21st, 2023 at 08:19 pm
Published on 30 November 2017

Finding the Perfect Fit: A Guide to Roof Lantern Sizes

Roof lanterns, those stunning architectural features that grace the roofs of countless homes, offer a unique blend of elegance and functionality. They bathe interior spaces in natural light, creating a sense of spaciousness and enhancing the overall ambiance of a home. But before you embark on the journey of transforming your roof with a roof lantern, it’s crucial to consider one of the most important aspects: size.

The size of your roof lantern plays a pivotal role in determining its visual impact, functionality, and overall suitability for your home. Too small, and it may appear insignificant and fail to make a statement. Too large, and it could overwhelm the space, disrupting the delicate balance of proportion.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of roof lantern sizes, empowering you to make an informed decision that aligns with your architectural vision and practical needs. We’ll explore the factors that influence roof lantern size selection, provide insights into the ideal sizes for various room types, and address common concerns regarding space limitations and aesthetics.

Whether you’re envisioning a grand roof lantern illuminating a spacious living room or a smaller one adding a touch of charm to a cozy kitchen, this guide will equip you with the knowledge to choose the perfect size for your roof lantern, ensuring that it seamlessly blends into your home’s unique character.

So, you want your house to have a roof lantern…good choice – their visual appeal is second to none. 

But first you have to answer a few questions: 

  • What style? 
  • Made of what material?
  • Where in your house is it going to go?

Above all:

  • What size roof lantern do I need?

Perhaps your property is one with plenty of space that would benefit from the traditional roof lantern construction. But perhaps due to the location and type of house you own, the lantern needs to be uniquely designed, or made in a contemporary fashion.

Like most extended architecture there are a ton of elements to think about and, these days, so little time to think about them.

Yet we haven’t even touched on the best way to support the roof, or what size the windows of the roof lantern should be, or whether it should be fitted with wiring for lights and air conditioning.

But with such an investment and sizeable improvement to your home you will want to be in possession of all the facts before signing on any dotted line.

And by reading on, you will be because we’re going to show you that such an undertaking need not be as daunting as it seems, and that actually, it’s easy.

A little guidance on roof lantern dimensions, material and positioning won’t do you any harm at all. 

And this article explains these aspects in full, helping you to achieve perfect results, to choose the right size of roof lantern, and minimize costs.

And that’s not all. 

You’ll see how choosing the right materials, shape, location and fittings means you are left with a centrepiece of architecture, a talking point, a feature to be proud of and one that will raise the value of the house.

Why build a roof lantern?

Good question. 

But not an especially hard one to answer in our experience.

The benefits of roof lanterns are many and far-reaching and we’re not even including their most basic purpose, namely – a roof lantern is a roof light and is designed to fill a room with three times more natural light than standard windows. Even the smallest roof window will provide you with more light than just a regular side window. Meaning you won’t have to rely on artificial light, saving you money and boosting your family’s health.

Furthermore, adapting your property to include a roof lantern gives you a sense of pride achievement; after all, you’ve done something that will have a long-lasting positive impact on you, your family and the property’s value in years to come.

Cost Considerations for Roof Lantern Installation

The cost of installing a roof lantern can vary depending on several factors, including the size, style, and materials used. However, as a general rule of thumb, you can expect to pay between £500 and £5,000 for a roof lantern installation.

Here is a breakdown of the approximate costs for different roof lantern sizes:

  • Small roof lantern (2m x 2m): £500-£1,000

  • Medium roof lantern (3m x 3m): £1,000-£2,000

  • Large roof lantern (4m x 4m): £2,000-£5,000

You may also need to factor in the cost of additional work, such as:

  • Structural support: If your roof structure cannot support the weight of a roof lantern, you may need to have additional support beams installed.

  • Electrical work: If you want to install lights or other electrical fittings in your roof lantern, you will need to hire a qualified electrician.

  • Plumbing work: If you want to install a skylight with an opening feature, you may need to have a plumber install a drainage system.

Planning Permission for Roof Lantern Installation

In most cases, planning permission is not required for installing a roof lantern. However, there are a few exceptions. For example, you may need planning permission if:

  • Your roof lantern extends more than 150mm beyond the existing plane of your roof.

  • The side-facing windows of your roof lantern are not obscure glazed.

  • The opening of your roof lantern is less than 1.7m from the floor.

It is always a good idea to check with your local planning authority to be sure whether or not you need planning permission for your roof lantern installation.

Maintenance and Care for Roof Lanterns

Regular maintenance will help to extend the life of your roof lantern and keep it looking its best. Here are a few tips for maintaining your roof lantern:

  • Clean the glass panels regularly with a soft cloth and water.

  • Check the seals and gaskets for any signs of damage or wear.

  • Inspect the frame for any signs of rot or decay.

  • Lubricate any moving parts regularly.

By following these simple tips, you can keep your roof lantern looking its best for many years to come.

Benefits of a roof lantern

  • Energy bills are cut down
  • More light in the room = health benefits
  • Visually appealing inside and out
  • A showpiece when people visit
  • Makes rooms look bigger

We think you’ll agree… it has to be a worthwhile undertaking!

What size of roof lantern should I get?

Such a decision is personal preference, but so too is it centred on the aesthetics and layout of the existing building.

Don’t forget:

Even the smallest roof window will let in a surprising amount of light.

But the final decision probably comes down to space for most people.

Does your house have a flat roof? If it does, the roof lantern dimensions will normally be taken from the external face of the supporting kerbs and the lantern will be fitted to overhang for weathering.

So, if you are interested in having a roof lantern installed, the answer is simple:

You can! 

But you have to get the measurements right. You rarely see a roof lantern that spans the length of the room it’s in, because the common misconception that you need a large roof lantern to let in more light, just isn’t true. A small roof lantern installed in the centre of any room works perfectly. 

Bearing in mind the countless variations in house styles around the UK, we can confidently say there is a roof lantern for everyone: sized and cost to demand.

Although the bigger the roof lantern specifications, the more materials are used, the longer the time the roof lantern construction takes and the more money there is to pay.

But here’s the clincher – no matter what roof lantern size or type of lantern you want or can afford, Prestige Roof Lanterns UK will guide you along the way and listen to what you want. We’ll even advise you on whether or not your roof lantern dimensions will have any impact on building regulations.

Investing in a roof lantern, even a standard sized one, will hand us the opportunity to update and refresh your home.

Where should my roof lantern go?

Again this is a question that depends on two things: 

  1. Space
  2. Personal choice

‘Where should it go?’ also should also asked with ‘where can you fit it ?’ Into what room do you want the maximum amount of light to shine? But also, where would be a great location to show it off to visitors (or prospective house buyers)?

And of course, roof lantern size is determined by the answer to these questions. 

All you have to do is find somewhere for it to go, and we’ll tell you what size it should be 

Bear in mind that roof lanterns are generally designed to be constructed on an area of a building that sports a flat, rather than sloping roof. Saying that, it is possible though to add a roof lantern to a sloped roof fitted along the ridge of the slope.

Our passion is to deliver a well-designed, well-constructed roof lantern, but in order to do so we need from you some thoughts on its design; in that way, the results are the best imaginable for you and us.

  • Too small a lantern will look odd and unnecessary.
  • Too large a lantern will look ostentatious.
  • You want your roof lantern to blend seamlessly into your home, to enhance your living there, not detract from it. 

Think also about the positioning of the lantern, because if it is over a particular feature, it might get sun bleached. The light that streams through your roof lantern will illuminate whatever is beneath, even if it’s the old kitchen island.

So let’s get started!

Not so fast…

There’s work to be done.

To install an architectural lantern in a roof usually involves deconstructing some rafters or joists. 

The cut ends of these will create the upstands for the new roof lantern. Timber will then span the upstands and create a foundation for the new installation. And for a short while, things are going to get messy.

What can a roof lantern be made of?

It may come as a surprise to some that it is perfectly possible to save money even when you buy a roof lantern. You’ve just got to be savvy about the materials used, its size (as mentioned), and what sort of workmanship you expect. 

We make each of our products in-house and we take immense pride in delivering goods and labour of the highest quality. We want the finished lantern to look great…

But we also want it to last.

And that’s achieved by using great products and highly skilled labour, regardless of budget.

One of the more expensive options for a roof lantern is to have it made from oak. But we have various other materials from which the frame can be fashioned. A wood such as Sapele looks like oak but is far more affordable, and its durability is guaranteed.

What style should my roof lantern be?


Again the answer to this question boils down to personal preference. However, you will usually be advised to match a roof lantern with the style of your house and make sure the roof lantern dimensions fit with the dimensions of the room.

Trying to match the style of lantern to the aesthetics of your house may be time-consuming but getting roof lantern size and style just right will add value to your house.

The answer is simple – ask the experts at Prestige Roof Lanterns UK for advice

We can provide guidance on how best to design a roof lantern sized to a contemporary or historic theme without the pound signs being slapped on to every panel.

At Roof Lanterns UK, we have years of experience creating stunning designs that are stylish, pleasing to the eye and built to immerse your living space in light. Getting things just right will provide your home with a new lease of life.

A roof lantern will make it brighter, bigger and far more desirable.

What do I need to consider when installing a roof lantern?

There are some things to take into account before you give the go-ahead for the lantern roof construction. Unlike a sky light, a roof lantern functions separately from the roof and so any wiring, plumbing or air conditioning that the roof contains may need to be rerouted, or incorporated.

Whether you are looking for a roof lantern in a kitchen extension, conservatory or even a home office, there are one or two things to think about in terms of its functionality:

  • Weatherproofing. The outside edges of any lantern will need to be weatherproofed. Most weatherproofing includes lead flashing or some other customised protection.
  • Ventilation. Whichever room the lantern is going to be built over will need to be well ventilated.
  • Wiring and plumbing. It’s always best to ask Prestige Roof Lanterns UK about whether or not air conditioning should be installed and what wiring you may want to have incorporated in the design.

Such items are a personal choice but worth considering during the planning stage of the installation.

We provide detailed drawings of our plans and design for every roof lantern. It is from this that the builder will work, and therefore we’ll work with you to get this just right. The planning stage is arguably the most important.

But, lantern roof light construction is an easy process when you have help.


Roof lanterns are a wonderful addition to any type of property and can be made in styles new, old, traditional, slim line or contemporary. The choice is yours.

A roof lantern is an ideal way to bring sunlight flooding into a room. It makes any home appealing. It’s also a real highlight in the home, whether viewed from the outside or inside. And even when the nights draw in, a roof lantern still allows in more light than conventional windows.

Lantern roof lights are also an excellent choice for extensions to houses in neighbourhoods with limited space, thanks to their ability to let light in from above.

So, whether you are looking to put your house on the market later in the year, or you would simply like to increase the aesthetics and liveability of your home – because let’s face it, who wouldn’t – or you are simply keen to update your old decor: taking the time to improve your home with a roof lantern can make a huge difference to how you feel about the place.


So in terms of roof lantern size, here’s a quick recap on how to go about things:

  • Ask yourself: what roof lantern sizes do I need?
  • Roof lantern size is your choice, but make sure it is in keeping with the dimensions of the space.
  • For lantern roof construction, think about what room it will be built over to let in the maximum amount of light possible.
  • Try to keep within the style of the property as much as possible, even if that means installing the smallest roof window, it will still make a huge difference to your home.
  • To save money, choose carefully from materials and ensure your roof light is double glazed.

Determining the ideal roof lantern size requires carefully weighing options across the spectrum of available roof lantern sizes. Choices among small, medium and large lantern sizes greatly impacts aesthetics, functionality, and sense of space.

While modest roof lantern sizes can still make a dramatic lighting difference, dimension considerations significantly influence the lantern’s visual statement and practical illumination abilities.

By taking into account room dimensions, intended ambience, and architectural harmony through this guide’s insights on selecting among the range of roof lantern sizes, readers can land on dimensions personalized for their goals. The specific roof lantern size you choose shapes the transformed space by balancing grandeur and intimacy, illumination and scaling.

Whether your aim is a bold great hall lantern or an intimate kitchen skylight, properly assessing proportions and roof lantern sizes lays the foundation. Partner with our specialists to translate the lantern visions in your mind into tangible realities. Bringing life and light starts with building on the right base through purposeful roof lantern size selection. Let us guide your perfect fit.

Prestige Roof Lanterns UK understands that when someone wants a roof lantern they don’t necessarily want to be bothered with the planning, design and location. So, why not leave all of that to us?

We’ll come up with something and all you have to do is approve it. Easy.



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