Leaded glass windows are the modern equivalent of those beautiful stained glass windows you see in centuries old churches and other historical buildings all over the world. They provide a beautiful accent to almost any room in any home and are in fact far more affordable than you might imagine.

The History of Stained Glass Windows

Stained glass windows – leaded light windows’ ancestors – have been around for centuries. Over the years archaeologists have found fragments of colored glass and other evidence that stained glass windows were being used in churches as early as the 7th century.

As a form of high art stained glass windows had their finest moments in the Medieval era and fortunately a number of amazing examples of this work still survive today. Some tell detailed stories more vividly than any history book could while others are simply beautiful patterns that continue to inspire designers today.

Modern Leaded Light Windows

Modern leaded light windows are often fashioned after some of the oldest examples of stained glass art while others are modern creations that are completely unique. In terms of function these windows are designed to let in a little more natural light than a traditional stained glass window would – and cost considerably less – but for the most part they are every bit as beautiful.

There are several different types of leaded glass window designs that are particularly popular with 21st century homeowners:

Traditional Leaded Glass Windows


These windows bear patterns and images that are very much influenced by the stained glass windows of centuries past. They range from simple fleur de lys and French rose styles to more intricate images, some of which have a religious significance just like the stained glass windows of old.

In a residential setting these windows are often best used as accents – adorning a door or a large window. They also make a fantastic addition to the bathroom as they add an extra layer of privacy as well as amazing style.

Art Deco Leaded Glass Windows

The Nineteen Twenties was an era of high style and art deco was all the rage. Art Deco leaded light windows tend to be very bold and have very clean lined patterns that are very striking without being overpowering. They tend to be used in more windows throughout the home than traditional leaded light windows for this reason. They can look especially effective in living room that has large windows with a small inset window at the top or old fashioned sash style windows.

Modern Art Leaded Windows

These days you can find everything from pop art – art inspired by the likes of late Andy Warhol and Roy Lictenstein – to 21st century interpretations of old stained glass window styles to cute renditions of child friendly images that would be great for use in a nursery or a childrens playroom.

Customized Lead Glass Windows

There are an increasing number of companies that offer customized lead light windows and will create a window that bears almost any image you want. These are of course a more expensive choice than the stock options but it does allow you to create a look that is uniquely your own that you’ll never find anywhere else!

Cabinet Leaded Windows 

A china cabinet is still a feature of many formal dining rooms and replacing the plain glass with leaded light glass can transform these bulky pieces of furniture into something truly spectacular.

Another fast growing trend in home improvement is to add glass fronted replacement cabinet doors in the kitchen, with the glass being leaded light glass. The look is stunning in any kitchen space but in a smaller kitchen it can transform the space completely, making it look larger, brighter and far more open.

The Cost of Leaded Light Windows

As we previously mentioned leaded light windows are actually more affordable than you might imagine. You can find great examples of this wonderful home improvement art for as little as $75 each, although that rarely includes the cost of installation.

Alternatives to Real Leaded Light Windows

What if you love the look of leaded light windows but replacement windows of any kind are just not in your budget right now? Or you live in a rental home or apartment where you cannot make such changes? Then leaded light style window clings can be an inexpensive, although not quite as effective alternative.

These clings may also be a good idea for those homeowners who are not sure about just how well leaded light windows would look in their home. Often these clings cost less than $10 each and they can be a great way to try out the look of lead light windows without committing to all the expense and upheaval of installing replacement windows right away!