Complement both your facade and interior with sidelights matching your new door. Whether single or double, they let extra natural light inside, accent your home and are also an excellent solution for those with a particularly large entrance area. They can be combined with upper transoms as well for an inviting entryway and brighter home. Neuffer offers bespoke solutions with the aesthetic, security and energy-saving features required for your project. 

How to Choose a Front Door with Sidelights

Choosing the right sidelights, also known as side panels, for your front door is first and foremost a question of space. If building a new home, this has already been taken into account. For renovations, homeowners are typically working with a fixed opening and thus have little wiggle room. Luckily, even those short on space can design a sidelight to match their entry door be it narrow or wide. 

The added sunlight creates a warmer living atmosphere indoors and can even allow for ventilation should you choose operable casements instead of a fixed glazing. The four important areas to consider when planning  the side panels are:

  • Appearance: the sidelights and doors should match each other as well as the facade
  • Energy: choosing the right glazing helps ensure your beautiful new glass isn't costing you in terms of energy loss
  • Sound: facing the street, it is important to consider whether there is enough noise to warrant soundproofing
  • Security: large glazed surfaces should be secured with laminated safety glass or impact resistant glass. 

Depending on the size of your side panels and the interior entryway, you may also consider opting for frosted glass to enjoy natural light while still preventing passers-by from being able to see inside. This is also helps deter burglars. 

Sidelights – A Highlight for any Front Door

New doors allow for a wealth of creativity. This includes not just the door material, colour, opening direction, handle, hardware and style but also the sidelights as well. Being windows at heart, they are available with many of the same options as all of our custom products. 

Traditionally, sidelights have been fixed and yet today, you can just as easily choose operable ones. A popular option is tilt-only which offer ventilation and help to improve airflow through your home, without having to leave the door open. 

Like windows, they can be designed with muntins (glazing bars) in custom patterns and in your choice of materials, whether a sharp aluminium clad timber or solid oak. 

Security and Burglary Prevention for Side Lights

Like any large glazed surface on ground level, side lights should feature a level of security matching the area you are in and the surrounding doors and windows. A high security metal door can't make up for unprotected glass panes large enough to simply smash and walk through. 

Luckily, glass can be protected to very high levels as seen in bullet proofing for example. For residential purposes, obviously such an extreme is unnecessary. The security and burglar resistance of all windows and doors in Europe is measured by their Resistance Class (RC) level. Levels 1 and 2 are most commonly used for residential purposes. For urban and suburban houses, RC2 is usually sufficient with RC3 typically used for remote areas and vacation homes not occupied regularly. 

Neuffer offers multiple levels of protection for the glass itself: laminated safety glass and impact resistant glass. This is available either externally, internally or both based on your needs.

Sound Protection and Thermal Insulation

After securing the glass, the next two features to consider are insulation and sound reduction. As with windows of the same size and style, it is important to ensure proper thermal insulation so that the added natural light is not costing you in terms of energy loss. This can be achieved with double or triple glazing based on your climate and overall energy goals. 

Finally, as sidelights along with the front door are street-facing, they can bear the brunt of external noise such as traffic, animals or passers-by.  For those in suburban areas with less activity, this may not be an issue. However, if your street tends to regularly be noisy it is worthwhile considering some of our sound reduction options.

They offer different levels of decibel reduction which is achieved via thicker panes, larger gaps between each pane and optional gas fillings in between to further hamper noise transfer. 

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