Great Lakes Harbor Light Windows Reviews

Great Lakes Harbor Light windows reviews

The Great Lakes Harbor Light windows are the low end offering from Great Lakes. Does that mean they’re a great value or a piece of junk that should be avoided? Let’s find out.

First, it’s important to note that Great Lakes is owned by Ply Gem and Ply Gem also makes several other window brands. They tend to separate the window brands by sales channel and quality so Atrium would be a lower end brand and Great Lakes is a higher end brand.

Knowing that, you might think that the lower end Great Lakes window is still a better choice than a nicer Atrium or Simonton window? You might be right, but there are several factors to be aware of. Let’s get into it.

What are the advantages of Great Lakes Harbor Light windows?

One obvious advantage to the Harbor Light windows is the cost. These will be cheaper than the fancier, and more expensive, EcoSmart and Comfort Smart window lines. What do you give up by going to the lower end option? Mainly efficiency and options.

The best efficiency package in the other models yielded a U-Factor of 0.14. In the Harbor Lights model the best advertised U-Factor is 0.22. Remember lower means more efficient when it comes to windows so that’s a pretty big difference.

So, the Harbor Lights model is less efficient but it’s also less expensive. Ultimately a 0.22 U-Factor is pretty good so it may be worthwhile to save the added cost you’ll find in the other models.

Here you can see the main features of the Great Lakes Harbor Light windows.

As you can see in the list of features above, these are all perfectly nice but very common features. You’ll find the same options in most every replacement window on the market.

What are the disadvantages?

The main disadvantage of this model is mainly the efficiency and the lack of options.

We touched on the difference in efficiency above, and the color options are another factor to note. This lower end model is only available in white or beige. There are no other interior or exterior options. If you need an exterior color, like black windows for example, you’ll need to pay more for the other window models.

How much do Great Lakes Harbor Light windows cost?

The pricing for all replacement windows has been rather volatile lately. If you’ve received a quote for Great Lakes windows lately it would be helpful for everyone if you can post a comment below to let us know what you saw.

I would expect you’ll see prices from $500+ installed for these windows and you might find prices closer to $1000 per window. It’s been a strange time.

Additional transparency makes this industry easier for everyone to navigate so sharing info about a quote you’ve received will help everyone who is shopping for new windows.

What colors are available?

The available colors for this model are pretty limited. Here you can see the white and beige and those will be the only options for this lower end model.

If you want any other exterior or interior color you’ll need to pay more for the upgraded window models, and then you pay even more for the other color options.

How efficient are Great Lakes Harbor Light windows?

The efficiency of these windows is not as great as the EcoSmart or Comfort Smart window lines. However, that doesn’t mean these are not efficient windows.

The efficiency ratings for the popular EnergyGuard and SmartGuard packages are pretty similar to ratings you’ll see from most any manufacturer. They advertise the best packages with U-Factors in the range of 0.22 to 0.25 and there are other packages available as well.

Overall, I’d say the efficiency is perfectly good, but not really any better than other window models.

What’s the bottom line?

Overall I’d say this option may be a better value than the other Great Lakes window models as long as you don’t need any other colors or fancy options. If you have a basic project in mind this could be a decent choice.

I would still probably pick different models and we’ve elected not to carry any Great Lakes window models in our stores.

Other posts about Great Lakes windows that you might find helpful:

How can you find a great window company?

That part is easy.  Check this section for recommendations of window companies all over the country. There’s no better way to get new windows.

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4 thoughts on “Great Lakes Harbor Light Windows Reviews”

  1. In the comfort smart review you saiy the harbor lights are higher end than comfort smart? Also I see in a harbor lights brochure a lot more color choices so not sure which review is correct?

    1. Hi Phil, usually the higher end models will offer more options. If you’re seeing more color options in the Great Lakes Harbor Light vs Great lakes Comfort Start that would be a good indication that the Harbor Lights is considered a higher end option. Note that just because a window manufacturer calls one model higher end doesn’t actually make it any better than another option. Sometimes that designation just means one option is more expensive.

      What did you like or not like about either model?

  2. In the brochure I saw online, I saw the harbor lights had additional wood colors like maple rather than just oak I think in the comfort start. That led me to think they would be higher end since there were more options.

    But you had:
    One obvious advantage to the Harbor Light windows is the cost. These will be cheaper than the fancier, and more expensive, EcoSmart and Comfort Smart window lines.

    But it seemed to me the harbor light were a higher line at least because they had more wood veneer options. And thinner frames (more glass area)

    I haven’t seen harbor lights. A dealer showed me comfort smart as a cheaper option to sunrise restorations. I liked the sunrise although they were a bit more.

    I was getting 4 large slider windows, (2 bedrooms, 2 in family room) to replace old Marvin sliders. The new sunrise are 2 lite? Both ends slide to he center versus the old windows only 1 side slid.

    Then In a sunroom I had a double casement window (2 24” casements) and a 96” window , 24”casement on each side and 2 24” fixed in the center. He suggested to save $4000 by doing a single 48” 2 side slider to replace the double casement and a 24-48-24 window with sliders on the ends to replace the 96” 4 window. The end windows only slid towards the center picture window.These were all 64” tall. Said the savings were due to casements have more hardware and trim and the double casement was considered 2 windows vs a single slider.

    Seem reasonable that casements are that extra in cost?

    1. Yes, casement windows generally are quite a bit more expensive than sliding windows so that makes sense to me.

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