Types of Skylights for Flat Roofs: How to Choose.

An important decision to make when designing your flat roof is what type of skylight you want. There are several types, and not all work well with a flat roof. This article will go over the three most common types of skylights for flat roofs: plastic, glass, and tubular. We’ll explain how each one works best on a roof that can’t be pitched or sloped.

Types of Skylights For Flat Roofs.

Flat Glass Rooflights

Skylights are an important part of your home. They bring sun into your home. You want to put one in the roof, like the roof on my house.

Flat glass rooflights are made up of a double, triple, or quadruple-glazed flat glass unit. It needs insulation on the sides to keep warm air from coming in. If you want this, you need to build it yourself. The best place for these is on an old building that has no insulation or where the insulation needs to be replaced. The price starts at $225 and is low when you compare it with other skylights that can cost $1,000.

Flat Roof Lanters and Pyramids

Modern or contemporary homes often have a flat roof. Flat roofs need lanterns and pyramids to bring in a lot of light. A flat roof needs 3 times more natural light than vertical uPVC windows.

Some pyramids and lanterns have a way to let air in. If you want air, you can get things like a manual opening or an electric vent-flap or slide opening flat roof lantern (depending on the company). We offer many different options of flat roof lanterns at Sterlingbuild. You can choose which one is best for your home by deciding what type of finish and color it has, and then adding a blind if you want.

Flass Glass Domed Rooflights

VELUX and FAKRO make a type of flat glass, domed rooflight. This is good for people who live in places that get a lot of rain. The extra dome helps stop noise from coming into your home. It also stops water from making a pool on your flat roof.

Walk on Rooflights

A walk-on rooflight is a good idea when you have a flat roof or one that is not very high. You can put it on the outside or inside of the house. These are really popular right now because they let natural light into places that did not have any before. The walk-on rooflights do not take up any space in your house because you can go up them and look out of them. Walk-on rooflights cost money, but they start at $511.

Pitched Roof Skylights

Skylights are the most common way to put a light in your roof. But you can also use VELUX, which is from Copenhagen. They have a good effect on the market for skylights. Most people only think of them as VELUX skylights, even if they are not.

Plastic or Glass?

Overall glass skylights are better than acrylic/plastic skylights and are worth spending the extra money. They are more durable, nicer design, better insulated and often prevent condensation.


The cost of a fixed skylight is cheaper than the cost of an acrylic skylight. Custom glass skylights are more expensive than custom acrylic skylights. The new solar or electric venting glass skylights are very expensive.


Glass is strong because the factory seals have a 20-year warranty. Acrylic needs to expand and contract with the heat, but this wears out its gaskets that hold it in place. Acrylic will yellow and get brittle over time.


A glass skylight is better insulated. It reduces noise from outside by 50% less than an acrylic one.


Design for acrylic skylights was first used in the 1980s. The better ones have an aluminum frame with a thermal break to keep the inside and outside of your house warm or cool, depending on the season. Glass is better at insulating because it has two panes of glass that are sealed with argon gas.


Manufacturers drill holes in the condensation gutters of their skylights to allow water to weep out. But this lets cold air and causes condensation. Glass skylights are sealed, preventing heat and cold transfers and condensation.

Types of Pitched Roof Skylights

Top Hung Roof Window

Top hung windows are built to give you the best view. There is no part of the window that enters the room when the window opens. This helps if you need to open and close it and can’t reach it because of your height. Top hung skylights also meet requirements for safety as well as being easy to access for repairs on your roof. They start at $162

Centre Pivot Roof Window

Skylights are the most popular way to put a window in your roof. The center-pivot is the easiest kind of roof window because it opens up all the way. It is also good for high-up installations where you can’t reach to open them yourself. They start at less than $100.

Skylights for Empty Rooms

There are some rooms in your home that are dark and don’t have a lot of air. For example, there might be a storage room or even a shoe cupboard. You can install skylights that will give light and air to these rooms. Skylights are not good for other parts of your house like kitchens, living rooms, or other areas where the temperature changes from day to day. These kinds of skylights only allow an amount of light and air into the unoccupied area.

Andrew Orange , the owner of Orange Lighting qualified and worked as an interior designer in 1993 before specialising in lighting working on high profile projects based in London. Since starting Orange Lighting Ltd in 2003 he has been sharing his knowledge and unique teaching style mostly to his designer clients, offering practical real life advice born from running a busy consultancy and lighting supply business. Launching in 2020, his blog has evolved into Quick & Easy Lighting, curating some 25 years design experience into making the lighting choice and design process achievable and easy to understand for all.