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.
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:
- Great Lakes windows complaints
- Great Lakes windows prices
- Why you should NEVER buy Great Lakes windows
- Great Lakes windows FAQ
- Great Lakes window warranty review
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.