Rooflight or Skylight: what do you call a window in the ceiling of a house?

A window in the ceiling of a house can be referred to as a roof window, rooflight or skylight, and although there are differences between each term, they are often used interchangeably.

Roof Window

A roof window is generally the most flexible type of window that can be installed into the ceiling of a house. They come in a wide range of options, and can be used as single window, or part of a set. The most obvious distinction between a roof window and a rooflight or skylight is that roof windows are often able to open, generally from a central pivot, but are becoming more commonly top-hung. Roof windows have specifications that require them to be fitted in the same orientation as the roof, so that they sit flush and maintain the clean roofline. They are also CE marked, meaning they have been tested through various conditions, such as air pressure, leakage, and rainfall.


Skylights and rooflights are more general terms and are often interchanged. Skylights generally refer to windows fixed into the roof, similar to roof windows. However, they do not open, unlike roof windows, and have less specifications. They are generally fitted much higher up than roof windows, often in higher ceilings and the aim is to let light into the room, as opposed to roof windows which often are inserted for providing views out as well as letting light in.


A rooflight is different to a skylight or roof window because they are generally fitted “out of plane” to the roof itself, often installed above the tiling line to provide a feature, as well as being able to let more light in. They are often made up of several panes of glass that join together and can form a dome or rectangular shape above the roof itself.

If you’re looking for a roof window, skylight or rooflight for your home or project, take a look at our range of pitched roof windows and flat roof windows or give our experts a call for any help and advice on 01752 692 760.

Would you like to empty your basket?

Yes No


It seems you are running an older version of Internet Explorer. Our site does not support these old browsers as they do not house the technology that allows our site to be safe and secure.

If you wish to access our site please either upgrade your browser or download an alternative.