Fixed vs Opening Rooflights – Exploring the Pros and Cons

When selecting the right rooflight design for your project, considerations go beyond aesthetics and performance. The choice between a fixed and opening rooflight plays a crucial role, influencing both the look and functionality of the installation. Let’s delve into the pros and cons of each option.

Fixed Rooflights:


Cost Effective: Fixed rooflights are notably more affordable, often costing up to 30% less than their opening counterparts.

Thermal Efficiency: They tend to be more thermally efficient, offering better insulation.

Slimmer Profile: Fixed rooflights typically provide a slimmer profile, contributing to a sleeker appearance.

Greater Viewable Area: With a fixed design, you often get a larger viewable area compared to opening alternatives.

Lightweight: Fixed rooflights weigh less, reducing transportation and installation costs. Specialized crane equipment is less frequently required.


Lack of Ventilation: The primary downside is the absence of ventilation, limiting airflow within the space.

Limited Roof Access: If roof access is a requirement, fixed rooflights may not be suitable. 

Fixed vs Opening Rooflights – Exploring the Pros and Cons Stella Rooflights

Opening Rooflights:


Ventilation and Access: Opening rooflights provide ventilation and access to the roof, addressing the limitations of fixed designs.

Varied Operation: They can be manually or electrically operated, offering flexibility in functionality.

Size Options: While smaller rooflights may be manually operated, larger ones often use electric actuation, providing options for various sizes.

Automated Sensors: Many opening rooflights come with wind, rain, and temperature sensors for automated operation.

Smart Control: Some models can be operated through smart devices, adding convenience.


Higher Cost: Opening rooflights are generally more expensive due to their added functionality and mechanisms.

Weight Considerations: Larger opening sections require more power for operation, potentially increasing costs.

Visibility of Mechanisms: Chain actuators are often visible, though concealed actuator designs are available with a slight reduction in clear viewable area.

Complex Installation: Electrically operated rooflights may require a more intricate installation process.

Fixed vs Opening Rooflights – Exploring the Pros and Cons Stella Rooflights

Combination of Fixed and Opening Rooflights:

You can have the best of both worlds by combining fixed and opening rooflights.

Modern designs often incorporate smaller fixed rooflights alongside larger opening ones to achieve both increased light and ventilation.

Bespoke rooflight manufacturers offer the flexibility to create larger opening casements, providing options for manual mechanisms, gas struts, or electric actuators. This way, customers can tailor their rooflight configuration to meet specific needs.

If cost is a significant consideration, ask yourself does your space require rooflight access or additional ventilation? If not, a fixed rooflight is a cost-effective solution.

If ventilation is needed, can it be achieved manually for the rooflight size you require? If so, a manually operated rooflight can significantly reduce costs for sizes up to 1000mm x 1200mm.

Ultimately, the choice between fixed and opening rooflights depends on your project’s specific requirements, budget constraints, and desired functionalities.

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