Why should I add a roof lantern to my home? - Westbury Windows and Joinery

Why should I add a roof lantern to my home?

Why should I add a roof lantern to my home? strength, stability, and durability and are environmentally friendly products.

Not just a fad

Whilst the aesthetic and construction methods involved in making a roof lantern may have changed over the centuries, the idea of using natural light to illuminate a room from above is not, in any way, new.

As with many aspects of architecture, this very early concept was first explored by the ancient Romans.

In structures as old as the Pantheon, large openings providing sunlight and ventilation still stand today, as proof of early application of this idea.

‘The 7.8 diameter hole in the Pantheon sits right in the middle of the dome. This hole is the only source of light in the Roman temple. It is impressive to see how much light comes from this single hole when you’re standing inside the Pantheon.’

Why is there a hole in the roof of the Pantheon (romecitytour.it)

Image credit: Smarthistory – The Pantheon (Rome)

In France and Italy, during the 16th century, this concept, in the form of roof lanterns, saw a renaissance, as the popularity of the functional orangery grew. The orangeries were used to house orange and citrus trees in order to protect them from the weather and roof lanterns were integral to these designs, to maximise the amount of sunlight entering the building.

Orangery – Wikipedia

As time went on and the decades passed, it became fashionable for wealthy households to have their own orangery, and this became an indicator that they were part of the monied elite. However, these were prone to leaking, extreme weather fluctuations, and degradation.

As the process of manufacturing glass evolved through Victoriana, the use of ‘skylights’ became more common as a functional and affordable alternative to a roof lantern. It took until the mid to late 20th Century for this technology to evolve enough to resolve the issues experienced by the early orangery designs and for roof lanterns to become a functional and affordable architectural element in a residential setting.

Bring natural light in to your home

Modern scientific research has confirmed how important natural light is to enhanced physical and mental well-being. The concept of a hole in the roof, for air to escape and light to enter, was forged by the Romans, but roof lanterns harness this philosophy in modern architecture.

How more natural light benefits us is explained in more detail by Cantifix below…

Exposure to natural light helps our bodies produce Vitamin D, improves our circadian rhythms and sleep patterns, helps us to focus, enables us to get more done, and even makes us happier. Ensuring we get enough of this vital resource is key to our physical and psychological wellbeing.

Regardless of our modern innovations, human beings are still biologically programmed to benefit from exposure to daylight. The rapid rate of technological advancement has vastly overtaken the speed of our natural evolution, and as a result of artificial lighting, we no longer experience the day and night cycles our bodies are designed to work around.

Thankfully the benefits of natural light are now well-researched and documented, and the case is clear for ensuring we all get as much access to daylight as possible. In fact, new research shows that when renovating, 27% of homeowners are looking to create a more contemporary space with an abundance of natural light.

You can read the full article here – What Are The Benefits Of Natural Light? (cantifix.co.uk)

Improved circulation

Effective circulation is important in a room to maintain good ventilation, regulate temperatures and remove stale air. Positioning doors and windows in such a way to optimise air flow for effective circulation, and cooling, is a concept hot countries around the world use in much of their architecture.

Whilst windows either side of a room will encourage cross circulation, adding an extraction point at height will promote stack-ventilation. The higher the ceiling, the better, as hot air rises, and providing an exit route for that heat encourages air to flow through the space and exit through the highest point.

(27) Embracing Fresh Air: Architectural Insights into Natural Ventilation in Homes | LinkedIn

The very nature of a roof lantern means that additional height and vents can be added to a space – adding that extra dimension for the circulation and extraction of stale air.

This can help to keep your home fresh and ventilated, reducing cooking odours, the build-up of stale air and potentially reducing the risk of indoor air quality issues.

As an added benefit, automatic air vents maintain a comfortable temperature, opening when the room warms up to draw the hot air up and create air flow, and closing as it cools or when the first drops of rain are detected. So a rooms temperature will be perfectly controlled without human intervention.

External aesthetic

Choosing to add a roof lantern to your home is not just about well-being and natural light. It is also about the external appearance of your home.

When it comes to enhancing the aesthetic of your property, roof lanterns often emerge as an appealing feature and can add proportion and balance to the visual experience externally.

A flat roof can look uninspiring architecturally, and the addition of an elegant roof lantern can turn this into a beautiful feature which gives you the feel of a traditional orangery.

Not all shapes and sizes of lantern will suit your property so ask your supplier to guide you and assist in a design which complements your property’s style and scale.

Internal impact

A roof lantern not only enhances a home’s appearance but can also create an illusion of space.

This is because it adds an overhead focal point which the eye is naturally drawn to, and even though the height of the room hasn’t been extended throughout the entire space, the illusion can make it feel like it has. This is perfect if you want your room to feel much bigger without actually adding more space.  Let’s not forget the wow factor – imagine walking in to a room with a flat white roof, compared with a lantern with a striking pendant suspended from it. Think about the extra shadows cast across the floor and the immediate views of a beautiful blue, or deep thunderous sky

Enhancing value

A well-designed roof lantern can add value to your home by increasing its curb appeal and making it more attractive to potential buyers. This is especially true if your home is on the market and you want to set it apart from other properties in the area.

You can read more here – Roof Lanterns: What You Need to Know | Homebuilding

A change in attitude

Whilst historically there were reservations over installing roof lanterns, gone are the days where this solution meant boiling hot/freezing cold rooms, leaky glazing, rotten timbers and no chance of having a conversation when the heavens opened and the rain rattled against the glass!

Ongoing development and technological advances now means these issues are non-existent if you source your lantern through a specialist such as Westbury.

Contemporary glazing and the ‘U’ values this glazing is required to meet, mean there is very little heat or noise transfer via the glazing itself. Automatic windows and vents add even greater temperature regulation.

Developments in material manipulation and raw material sourcing means there are now a wide range of materials used externally which offer greater resistance to extreme weather conditions, whilst still giving the traditional timber frame finish internally. Where timber is used externally, it is a fast-growing hardwood which has undergone a proprietary acetylation process. This modification makes the wood more dimensionally stable, more durable, and resistant to rot, decay, and insect attacks, extending its life span to more than 50 years. Clever design tweaks have significantly reduced the chance of leaks – with seals, cappings and flashings in place to prevent any water ingress.

Roof lantern – Wikipedia