How to maximise light in your extension with a rooflight

When planning an extension to your home or building, you’ll naturally be thinking about how to best expand and enhance space. One of the best ways to do that is by maximising natural light with rooflights and skylights. Roof windows instantly open up the house, pour in sunlight, and make any extension feel spacious and bright.

A natural light ceiling, such as a roof window, will create a lovely, sun-filled extension, bringing in as much as three times the natural light as normal windows. There are plenty of extension lighting ideas for all kinds of homes, with bespoke rooflight solutions for practically any building or room, no matter the size, shape, or location


How do you increase natural light in an extension?

Depending on where you live and the location of your extension, your living areas may already benefit from natural light throughout the day. Good interior design and furniture placement can help to ensure you make the most out of the natural light in your home.

Vertical windows can limit the amount of extension light available, which is why adding skylights to an extension is incredibly popular for UK homeowners. Large roof windows paired with normal windows in the wall are able to capitalise on this natural light all day long, from sunrise to sunset.

For more ideas and insight into how rooflights can bring natural light into your home, see our guide, 8 Rooflight Ideas for Your Home.


Skylight extension ideas for natural light

The type of natural light let into a home throughout the day can greatly impact how a space feels.  Depending on the room’s positioning in the house, it may receive cooler light, warmer light, or be much darker at certain times of the day than others. Rooflights and skylights are great at balancing out internal spaces, and there are skylight extension ideas and solutions for any room in any location.


Natural light in an east-facing room

East-facing rooms will have light streaming in through the windows first thing in the morning. While this can be great in the early hours, it will lead to considerably darker rooms in the afternoon and evening.

In the winter, east-facing extensions will have to rely on artificial light earlier on in the day, which can add up if you consider electricity bills and heating bills. Installing a skylight extension is one way to help reduce costs overall, as natural light will flood in,  boosting the brightness of a room and letting in the cosy afternoon light.


How to warm up a north-facing room

North-facing rooms typically get the least amount of light in a house. The room will be shielded from most direct sunlight, resulting in a darker room and a cooler atmosphere. If your extension is a north-facing room, you can instantly brighten things up by adding a skylight with the correct positioning. 


How to cool down a west-facing room

West-facing extensions are typically filled with the warmer tones of a sunset during the afternoon and early evening. Although that makes these rooms perfect for entertaining and dining areas, they can be considerably dark and uninviting during the earlier hours of the day. A rooflight will instantly balance out the natural light and create a welcoming environment that lasts all day long. You can then take in the last of the sun's rays in the comfort of your own home!


Natural light in a south-facing room

A south-facing extension will be the brightest room in the house. It should receive strong natural light throughout the day. That being said, a rooflight can still benefit a south-facing room by bringing in the cooler tones and tints of light from other directions. Special solar glazing can protect your extension from getting too hot in the summer. This allows rooflight to balance your room's colours and flood it with the sun while keeping the area relatively cool. 


For a more in-depth look into how to choose the right rooflight for your home, read our Complete Guide to Rooflights.


Natural light in a skylight kitchen extension

A skylight in a kitchen extension can utilise natural light to enhance the room, connecting it to the rest of the house. A kitchen with a roof lantern can also benefit from the extra ventilation, as well as creating a focal room in the home. Roof lanterns are a great choice for giving the illusion of more space in your home, which is another reason why they’re so popular with homeowners; you can bring the outside in and open up your kitchen magnificently, without any changes to the integral structure of the main house. You can see the results for yourself in our case study, where we were able to use skylights and flood the living space with natural light and seamlessly connect the kitchen to the garden area.


Benefits of good lighting

Just as a kitchen with a roof lantern can benefit from both natural light and good ventilation, advantages for any skylight extension extend far beyond aesthetic appeal. One key benefit is how rooflights can both naturally light up and heat up a room. This significantly lowers energy and gas bills by keeping you from relying on artificial light and the radiator during the winter. 

Even in the summer, rooflights can help you reduce costs by efficiently blocking heat from the outside and keeping the cool air in. This allows for the bright and airy look of a rooflight all year round.  


Other ways to reflect sunlight into a house

How to maximise the natural sunlight into your home

With rooflights and skylights installed into your extension, you can further brighten your home in the way that you design and furnish the room. Some ideas may include: 

  • Paint the walls with light colours. These can help reflect and brighten any natural light that enters the room. However, avoid pure white. Try to find a colour that has warm undertones to it.
  • Avoid dark furniture. Try to furnish your extension with pieces made from light fabrics and pale wood. Tables and chairs with long legs can also help make the room feel lighter and allow for more light to float through.
  • Use mirrors to reflect light. The best place to place a mirror is opposite a window. However, if you have a skylight in your extension, mirrors can be placed almost anywhere to bounce extra light throughout the room.
  • Use bright and light coloured tiles in your kitchen or bathroom extension. This is another great way to reflect more natural light into your home and create a truly bright extension. 


Go bespoke for creative natural light solutions

You can benefit from all of these advantages, even if your extension has very specific requirements. Bespoke rooflights offer the perfect solution for unique buildings or for extensions that want as much sunlight as possible through an unconventionally large skylight. Rooflights can be custom made into any size or shape, be it triangular, circular, or trapezoidal.

See our Definitive Guide to Bespoke Rooflights for a better look into how to order a custom piece for your unique home.

At the Rooflight Company, we offer expertly made skylights that can maximise the light in any extension, home, or building.

Explore our range of rooflights and skylights or for more inspiration on how a rooflight can brighten up your space, read our case studies here. Don’t hesitate to get in touch to discover how we can help you create the perfect rooflight for your project.


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