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What Are Sidelights and How Do I Choose The Right Option?

Your home’s front door isn’t just an access point; it’s the first impression people get when looking at your house. Sidelights are an excellent, cost-effective way to add character, and personality, and boost your home’s curb appeal. In this post, we look at what sidelights are and how to pick the right ones for your home.

sidelight options in Tampa FLWhat Are Sidelights?

Door sidelights are slender windows flanking one or both sides of an entry door and are a popular architectural feature because they look fantastic and are functional. Besides enhancing your home’s visual appeal, they increase interior visibility by allowing more light to come into the house and, depending on the design, can improve ventilation.

How to Choose the Right Sidelights

Style and Aesthetics

The style should complement your door and the overall architectural style of the house. Whether your home is traditional, contemporary, or somewhere in the middle, it’s crucial to find a design that matches and won’t look out of place.

For traditional homes, consider sidelights with classic patterns or stained glass that add a timeless charm. If you have a modern home, a clean, straightforward design with minimal embellishments will pair well. The key is to choose a design that won’t clash with the door and house but enhance them.


Another crucial consideration is the sidelight’s frame material. Common materials include wood, fiberglass, steel, and aluminum, and each has its advantages. Wood frames offer a classic, rustic look, and you can paint or stain them to match the door; however, they require maintenance to keep them looking nice. Fiberglass and steel are more durable and have lower maintenance, making them ideal for harsh climates. Aluminum frames are light and corrosion-resistant, making them suitable for coastal areas. The material you choose depends on where you live and the look you want to achieve.


Many homeowners resist installing sidelights because they’re concerned about privacy. They feel that adding more glass to the front of the house makes them less safe and allows strangers to see inside. To maintain privacy and still get the benefits of natural light, consider frosted or tinted glass, or designs with decorative glass that distorts visibility. Some sidelights come with built-in blinds or shades you can adjust for privacy.


Another reason some people don’t want sidelights is because they see them as a security risk. Large, clear glass panels are beautiful but offer easy access to the house, which can be tempting to intruders. To solve this problem, consider sidelights made from tempered or laminated safety glass, which is designed to be more durable and shatter-resistant.

sidelight installations in lakeland FLEnergy Efficiency

One aspect many overlook regarding sidelights is how they can impact your home’s energy efficiency. Look for sidelights with double or triple-pane glass filled with inert gas and low-emissivity (Low-E) coatings that reflect heat. These features can help maintain interior temperatures, reducing the work your heating and cooling system has to do, which can lower utility bills.

Installation and Maintenance

Finally, consider how you’ll install the sidelights you choose. While some homeowners do it themselves, professional installation is recommended to ensure the sidelights are properly sealed and insulated to prevent drafts and water leaks. Also, stay on top of regular maintenance to keep them and your home looking great.

Call The Glass Door Store

If you want to boost your home’s curb appeal by adding sidelights, call the local pros at The Glass Door Store. We’re a family-owned and operated glass door specialist proudly serving Tampa and Lakeland, FL.

We have decades of customer service and construction experience and will give you the attention you can’t get with big box retailers.

Contact us today in Lakeland at 863-272-7311 or in Tampa at 813-991-0028.