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How Opening Rooflights Work

Introduction to Opening Rooflights

Opening rooflights are a versatile addition to any home, offering benefits such as ventilation, temperature regulation, and improved indoor air quality. They come in various types, including electric and manual versions, suited for different needs and preferences. In this guide, we’ll explore the mechanics, types, benefits, and considerations of opening rooflights to help you understand how they can enhance your living space.

Bespoke rooflights with actuators build into our insulated upstand

Types of Opening Rooflights

Opening rooflights can be categorized into several main types: hinged, pivot, and sliding, each offering unique functionalities and applications.

Hinged Rooflights

Hinged rooflights are versatile and commonly used for both residential and commercial purposes. They feature hinges on one side, allowing them to open upwards for ventilation. Let’s delve deeper into the subcategories of hinged rooflights:

  • Electric Vented Rooflights: Equipped with a chain actuator, these rooflights are electronically operated, making them convenient for remote control and automation.

  • Manual Vented Rooflights: Operated manually using a screwjack mechanism, these rooflights offer a cost-effective alternative without the need for electrical components.

  • Access Rooflights: Designed with pistons on either side, access rooflights open wider (approximately 70-90 degrees), facilitating easy ingress and egress to the roof space.

  • Automatic Opening Vents (AOV): Primarily used for fire safety, AOV rooflights open automatically to release smoke and heat in case of a fire, ensuring a safer environment.

Pivot Rooflights

Pivot rooflights are typically used for pitched windows, featuring a central pivot pin that allows the window to rotate. This design is advantageous for cleaning both sides of the glass and maximizing ventilation in pitched roof applications.

Sliding Rooflights

Sliding rooflights operate on a track system with a chain actuator for smooth opening and closing. They are suitable for applications where space restrictions prevent the use of hinged or pivot designs. 

Benefits of Opening Rooflights

Opening rooflights offer several advantages that contribute to the comfort and functionality of your living space:

  • Ventilation: Facilitates airflow to regulate indoor temperature, remove odors, steam, and smoke from kitchens, and manage moisture levels effectively.
  • Natural Light: Enhances natural daylight penetration, reducing the need for artificial lighting and creating a brighter, more inviting interior.
  • Energy Efficiency: Improves thermal insulation when closed, contributing to energy savings by reducing heating and cooling costs throughout the year.
  • Aesthetics: Adds a contemporary architectural feature to your home, enhancing both internal and external aesthetics with sleek designs and clear glazing.
opening rooflight option - Higned, pitched, flat, accesss, AOV. Pirot and sliding rooflights

Mechanism and Components

The functionality and performance of opening rooflights depend significantly on their components and mechanisms. Here are key factors to consider:


The choice of materials affects the rooflight’s durability, thermal efficiency, and aesthetic appeal:

  • Frame Materials: Opt for thermally broken aluminum frames for better insulation and durability compared to uPVC, which may expand and contract with temperature changes.
  • Glazing: Prefer glass over polycarbonate for better clarity, durability, and thermal performance.


Actuators are crucial for the operation of electric rooflights:

  • Reliability: Choose high-quality actuators like those from Window Master known for their reliability and performance over time.
  • Placement: Actuators can be installed internally, in an aluminum subframe, or integrated within the upstand. Each placement option offers different aesthetic and thermal advantages.
EOS97 opening rooflight cross section

Considerations for Installation

Installing opening rooflights requires careful planning to ensure optimal functionality and performance:

  • Size and Placement: Choose rooflights that fit the dimensions of your space and consider their placement to maximize natural light and ventilation benefits.

  • Structural Integrity: Ensure the roof structure can support the weight of the rooflight and comply with building regulations regarding safety and load-bearing capacity.

  • Waterproofing: Proper sealing and waterproofing are essential to prevent leaks and water damage, especially in climates prone to heavy rainfall or snow.

Maintenance and Longevity

Regular maintenance enhances the longevity and performance of opening rooflights:

  • Cleaning: Keep the glass clean and free from debris to maintain clarity and maximize natural light penetration.

  • Lubrication: Periodically lubricate moving parts and hinges to ensure smooth operation and prevent wear and tear over time.

  • Inspection: Regularly inspect seals, gaskets, and mechanisms for signs of wear or damage and replace them as needed to maintain efficiency.


Understanding the electrical aspects of rooflights is crucial for optimal performance and integration with smart home systems:

  • Voltage Options: Choose between 230V mains voltage for easier installation or 24V low voltage for flexibility and compatibility with smart controls and sensors.

  • Integration: Integrate rooflights with thermostats, rain sensors, and remote controls for automated operation and enhanced energy efficiency.


  • How can opening rooflights improve energy efficiency in a home? Opening rooflights can be integrated with thermostats to regulate temperature by automatically opening and closing, reducing reliance on heating and cooling systems.
  • What is the typical lifespan of an electric actuator in a rooflight system? While actuators typically have a 1-year warranty, their lifespan can extend from 10 to 20 years depending on usage and maintenance.
  • Are there any maintenance requirements for opening rooflights? Regular maintenance, including cleaning and lubrication of moving parts, ensures smooth operation and prolongs the rooflight’s lifespan.
  • What safety features do automatic opening vents (AOV) rooflights offer in case of a fire? AOV rooflights automatically open to release smoke and heat, improving ventilation and creating safer escape routes during a fire emergency.
  • How do I choose between manual and electric opening rooflights? Consider your budget, convenience preferences, and integration with existing home automation systems when choosing between manual and electric rooflights.


Opening rooflights are not just functional additions but transformative features that enhance living spaces with natural light, ventilation, and energy efficiency. By understanding their types, mechanisms, benefits, and installation considerations, homeowners can make informed decisions to improve their homes’ comfort, aesthetics, and sustainability.

Contact our team

If you have any questions, would like a bespoke price or want to enquire about our installation service. Give us a call or drop an email:

Call EOS Rooflights today 0208 462 3557

Eamil EOS Rooflights Today [email protected]

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4.83 Average

321 Reviews

David Baker

EOS were chosen as the rooflight supplier as our builder had failed to deliver the items. Rooflights were 1500mm square, something other suppliers were unable to provide. Rooflights were delivered and fitted on a Saturday morning two weeks before Christmas. They dropped onto the prepared upstands. Great service from start to finish, they knew exactly what they were talking about, the manufacturing is first class, they were local. Would we recommend them to anybody who wanted a first class product. without a doubt.

Posted 1 month ago


We have had several eos rooflights (possible 10-12) over the last 5-6 years. Every one has been as it should be. Received in perfect condition, delivered on time. And the roof-lights are well made and look perfect once fitted. Company is also very helpful if help is required. I’ve seen cheaper alternatives supplied and fitted by others but they are inferior quality. These are

Posted 1 month ago

Alison Smith

Very happy with your service

Posted 1 month ago


Very efficient sales team

Posted 1 month ago


Needed a large bespoke roof light upstand made and they managed to turn it around in a day! Great company, would definitely use them again. Thanks

Posted 1 month ago

David Kingston

Great company to deal with, made the process very simple, delivered on time and fitted perfectly

Posted 1 month ago


Easy to deal with, the pricing was great and delivery of 5 skylights was quick and stress free. One small problem was quickly resolved, great company.

Posted 6 months ago

Justin David Davis

Great product despatched and delivered very quickly

Posted 6 months ago


Great rooflights

Posted 7 months ago


Recently purchased an electric roof light from EOS. Very happy with the finished product, study and functions very well. It also looks very stylish. I received excellent customer service from EOS at all stages, they couldn't have been more helpful. Highly recommended.

Posted 8 months ago


Great Rooflights , simple to fit and swift delivery, many Thanks

Posted 9 months ago

Liam Grenander

Very professional customer support / sales team. Dealt with our roof light enquiry quickly and kept me updated on transit and delivery. Will be purchasing roof lights from them again when our projects require them.

Posted 9 months ago

Brad Lander - Bailand Construction Ltd

EOS Rooflights were knowledgable in their field, very helpful and the products (Roof Lantern and Flat glass roof lights) were of a good quality. The Roof lights were easily installed and full installation instructions were supplied for those who are installing for the first time. Would recommend.

Posted 9 months ago

A Memet

Very efficient with processing my order and delivery. I ordered a 3M roof lantern and a smaller flat roof light. Both were simple to install on my own upstands and they both look great. My only negative was the cost was a lot for what they are but I don’t think eos are excessively expensive, I think the roof lanterns themselves are what’s pricey. Anyhow I’m happy 😃

Posted 1 year ago


EOS were brilliant all through the consultation/sales process and delivery. The skylight looks great and works a treat with the electronic switch. Their after-care support was also very helpful and patient when we mistakenly thought we had an issue. Would highly recommend them.

Posted 1 year ago

Jonathan Tregidga Buyer at Legacy

As a company we have used EOS for some time. We use the EOS Rooflight Flexi Lid product a lot and also the EOS Smoke Vent Rooflight AOV on our projects. We cannot fault the company for the service, communication and value for money.

Posted 1 year ago


Excellent products, great customer service and post sales support! Unfortunately the courier damaged our roof lights slightly, however EOS went above and beyond to rectify! Special mention to Natalie O’Hara in ops, she was so helpful, prompt and a real pleasure to deal with! Highly recommend EOS!

Posted 1 year ago


Great delivery, great product. Really helpful customer service to organise the delivery of the rooflight

Posted 1 year ago


My Eos rooflight turned up on time as always, simple to install and looks great, throws so much light into what was a dark space, the quality of the rooflight is amazing, I will continue buying from Eos in the future,

Posted 1 year ago

Clive Woodford

The rooflights are a key feature externally of the property as they are prominent on the flat roof. They are angled by 15 degrees to allow the south facing sun to enter the house maximising natural light and also utilising any solar gain. The majority are triple glazed, with a couple of larger opening lights being double glazed. Internally they provide so much light and the light shafts are a characteristic of the internal architecture given that there are 15 within the house. The ordering and supply process was straightforward and installing them worked well with the pre-made upstands. All in all a very satisfactory and successful decision to select Eos rooflights.

Posted 1 year ago

Mr Jones

I was after rooflights with laminated glass and of good quality! I contacted EOS after seeing and viewing their products. They fitted the requirements. The service was first rate, nothing was a problem and the drawings to work before delivery excellent. Would highly recommend.

Posted 1 year ago