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Mediterranean Front Door in Walnut

What is a Sidelite?


Sidelites, or sometimes referred to as sidelights, appear often with front doors. But what are sidelites and do you need a sidelite for your home?  

Sidelite definition 

A sidelite is a narrow, vertical window that sits to the side of an entry door. Sidelites often get built into the same frame assembly of the door and can appear on one side or both sides of a door. Sidelites typically serve decorative purposes but they’re a good way to add natural light to a home, too. 

Sidelite benefits 

  • Add more natural light, especially if paired with a transom window 

  • Make your entry seem larger 

Sidelite privacy 

Some homeowners have concerns about privacy with sidelites, but decorative glass options can help obscure any view into a home while still providing natural light.  

Sidelite glass 

Sidelites can also contribute to a home’s energy efficiency* because of the insulated glass and glazing options. Sidelites for exterior doors come as insulated units with options for coatings on the exterior and interior of the glass. TruStile, a Marvin Brand, front doors have a selection of four low emissivity glass options as well as nine decorative glass options that achieve privacy while appearing stylish.  

Sidelite style 

There’s a bit of a debate as to whether sidelites should match the color of your door or the color of the trim. As with most things, the decision comes down to personal taste and how it looks. 

Sidelites that have the same color as the front door work with bigger entries and smaller homes can have sidelites painted white or the same color as the trim.  

Marvin Replacement proudly offers TruStile, a Marvin Brand, front doors with multiple sidelite configurations in complementary or matching door styles. 

  • Direct-Set Sidelites—TruStile’s Direct-Set Sidelites maximize the available natural light 

  • One-Lite In-Sash Sidelites—one lite in-sash sidelites offer a classic look that can pair well with more traditional looking doors. 

  • Complementary Sidelites—Complementary sidelites pair well with your front door for style continuity. 

  • Matching Door Sidelites—Matching sidelites match your front door so it takes the guesswork out of figuring out sidelite styling.  

* Savings reflects installing ENERGY STAR certified products compared to non-certified when replacing single pane windows based on the average savings among homes in modeled cities. Actual savings will vary by product type, location, method of installation, individual home characteristics, local climate and conditions, utility rates, and other factors. 


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