The Inside Scoop at

Skylight Shades

<–Our model Skylight shade (set within a wooden frame for ease of portability). In this view the shade is fully down. The white strips to the sides are the side retainer tracks (without any coordinating strip inserts).

The same model, with the shade raised.–>

On view, to the right, are one of the side retainer tracks; at the bottom, the fixed bottom rail. Just visible at the left (on the shade’s movable middle rail) is the handle used to raise and lower the shade (by hand or extension pole [sold separately]).

More photos can be found at the CWS website — and a new video on YouTube!


Our Cellular Windows Team has been putting together new instructions in order to give a bit more guidance in obtaining these crucial measurements. All you need is a metal measuring tape (or one of the new line of handy digital measuring devices), a ladder if your skylight is high off the floor, a pencil and our handy Measuring Guide (for skylights) [skylightmeasuringguide072010] in order to note down your measurements (this is where a second person might come in handy).

Each skylight will require three measurements for the WIDTH, three measurements for the LENGTH, and two diagonal measurements to gauge the opening’s squareness:

  • WIDTH: Measure the exact inside measurement (to the nearest 1/8; round DOWN, if necessary) in three places — top, middle, and bottom. The measurement you will want to order is the NARROWEST width measurement.
  • LENGTH: Measure the exact inside distance from the top of the window to the sill (to the nearest 1/8; round down, if necessary) in three places — left, middle, and right. The measurement you will want to order is the SHORTEST length measurement (this is to accommodate the length of the side retainer rails).
  • To ensure a proper fit, take time to measure diagonally (top right corner to bottom left corner; and top left corner to bottom right corner). If those two measurements differ by more than a 1/4-inch you will need to shim your opening when installing the retainer track (ie, the side rails).

Measure at the point you wish the skylight shade to be installed — and remember: Never place the shade directly up against the skylight’s glass, but leave 1- to 4-inches from the face of the glass. This air pocket actually helps in the total insulation process!

Not all skylight boxes are created “equal”:

The skylight pictured left has a bottom angle that is neither flat nor at 90-degrees with its sides. This would need some additional carpentry to accommodate a Skylight Shade: the bottom area must be built up to include a “shelf” for attaching the bottom rail.

Review the pictures above — you are inserting a “rectangle” into your opening. Top and Bottom must be parallel to each other, as must the two sides.

We recommend that measurements be taken AFTER any changes to the flat mounting surface(s) have been made.

A note on depth of mounting surface:

 As you can see, the shade and its retainer tracks require a certain amount of flat-surface depth. In order to FLUSH MOUNT the shade, 2.25 inches is required. A SHALLOW MOUNT requires at minimum 1.25 inches (the remaining inch would protrude beyond the opening).


Whether talking SKYLIGHT SHADE or BALCONY SHADE or even BALCONY SKYLIGHT SHADE — all terms indicate the exact same item —  what arrives at your home or business when you order a Skylight Shade???

The typical application has the shade opening from the bottom, upwards, as in this picture above. You can see that the “pleats” of the honeycomb fabric (a LIGHT FILTERING fabric in this instance) runs horizontally across the shade.

You can think of the entire unit as being made up of a set (on the left and right) of “tracks” and a cellular shade, with a head and bottom rail. Here’s how it all fits together to work in bettering your energy savings, year-around:

The POLYCARBONATE track system is heavy-duty and provides superior insulation (as well as light blocking). There are color-coordinated inserts for these tracks:

The shade itself is best seen in this exploded view:

Here you see the brackets, at top and bottom, that do all the work and actually attach your Balcony shade into the well of the skylight. The movable middle bar — with its central handle — is where fingers or our Balcony Pole attaches in order to move the shade up and down (ie, open or close).

These Balcony Poles are pictured below!

They come in a 6-foot or a 12-foot model (telescoping to those lengths), depending on the height required for reaching your skylight(s). The attachment for this model of blind looks rather like a cork-screw with a finger on the end:

The pole end screws onto the pole and the “finger” will grasp on to the handle. An easy push upwards, and the shade opens! An easy pull downwards, and it’s closed. Simple as that!

Still uncertain about purchasing a Skylight shade? Ask for our working model – it comes with all the component parts and an actual shade. Details on how to order working models for any of our shade products can be found on our website and the skylight shade model also can be ordered through our sister-site at

To order, just visit our website:!

3 Responses to "Skylight Shades"

It was an excitement locating your site yesterday. I came here hoping to learn something new. And I was not dissatisfied. Well thought out ideas. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

Good article on Skylight shade. It is very important for our home.You have explained good as well as share the location. I will sure visit your site.

Great article, just the information I have been trying to find!! Well thought out and written. I wasn’t able to find simple and direct instructions until I found this site. Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Your Source for Insulating Cellular Shades

CWS offers custom-made cellular shades in both double and single cell light-filtering or blackout fabrics.

CLICK to Visit Our Online Store!

CellularWindowShades are

FREE Color Samples


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 465 other followers

I'm just starting out; leave me a comment or a like :)

Follow Me on Pinterest

Visit CWS on Houzz

%d bloggers like this: