A fanlight is a semi-circular window that can sometimes be found above other windows but is more commonly placed above doors.
The common design has traceries or glazing bars radiating from a single point like the spokes of a wheel with glass in between.
This wooden window typical design is what gives it its name as it resembles an open fan. Before the invention of electricity, hallways and entranceways were typically dark and unventilated.
The fanlights were introduced into architecture in the 1720s to provide these areas with much-needed lighting and ventilation. Although not as necessary in modern buildings, they are still a great way to introduce natural lighting to any area of a house. The extra light also allows a room to feel more open and spacious.
Fanlights are also a great piece of decoration to accentuate doorways and windows, especially as their designs have gained some variation and complexity as their practical purpose has become secondary.
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