Transom windows (also called transom lights) sit above an entry, patio or interior door, or other windows. Typically non-operating and used to add style and increase natural light, transoms span the width of the opening they top and can be placed above single or double doors and sidelites.
What Is the Window Above a Door Called?
The area above a door is often referred to as a transom. A transom is traditionally a window placed in the upper part of a door to let in light or ventilation.
However, in modern homes, the term transom is often used to describe any window placed above a door, regardless of its purpose. The word transom is derived from the Latin transomus, which means “across.” This is fitting, as the transom window is typically placed across the top of a door.
The first transom windows were likely used in medieval churches and castles to let in light and air. Today, transom windows are still used for these purposes, as well as for decorative purposes. Transom windows come in a variety of styles and sizes.
The most common type of transom is the single–light transom, which is a window with a single pane of glass. Single–light transoms are often used for ventilation purposes, as they can be opened to let in fresh air. Double–light transoms are another popular type of transom window.
These windows have two panes of glass, which are often separated by a decorative grille. Double–light transoms are often used for both light and ventilation.