Rated 4.2 out of 5 by 45
Rated 3.0 out of 5.0 by tooljunkie Blue Tint, Plastic roof boot :o(
So, I spent the last few days installing two of these skylights and two 14" Velux skylights. We put three into his house and one into mine. Both of the ODL ones have rather tight articulation - that's to say that the elbows are towards the end of the tubing. The plastic coating that covers the inside was put on prior to them assembling the tubes, which made it extremely difficult to articulate the angle prior to removing the film. Removing the film was difficult, as the metal was riveted together over the film. You're best bet is to gently push the metal in around the articulation joint as you pull out the film. IF you get the film out, then it will be easier to turn. That being said, the Velux was superior as there was about an extra 5" between articulation points.
The ODL had two long sections, which are connected, with one being marked TOP and one being marked BOTTOM. You'll need to buy extra tubing if there isn't an overlap of 2". I had a 2" gap and had to pay an additional $40 or so for the extension. The Velux comes with two articulation elbows and a 24" section of metal that you have to assemble with self tapping screws. This turned out to be much easier to use that the ODL.
The Velux has a nicer METAL (vs plastic) roof boot. It has a larger dome. It has a more diffused diffuser over the ceiling part, which is in fact two pieces of plastic sandwitched to about 1" thick. The ODL has a piece of glass that has small bumps, which refract more like tiny diamonds. In other words, the Velux had a more evenly scattered light falling on the objects around. However, the major difference in my opinion is that the tube/dome in the ODL gives off a bluish cast. The light coming in from the ceiling, looks like a very blue fluorescent tube light. The Velux light was much more evenly cast and gave off a more natural color.
The Velux also had much higher quality components, with four packs of screws (some were self tapping), whereas the ODL didn't even come with self tapping screws. If I could take back the ODL for the Velux, I'd do it in a minute.
A note on installation: if you can get a straight shot up from the ceiling, it will be your best choice. Any articulation (I had to move 7" off center over a 52" span because of a roof truss) makes for a major headache in installation. Two of the skylights we put in had this difficulty (which was more difficult with the ODL). The two that went in straight we could have easily done in two hours. Another note, don't do like some videos show and pull off all the roofing material above. Simple lay the roofing boot over your spot on the roof, upside down, and mark the radius with a crayon or chalk, then cut it out with a reciprocating saw. Put into place and seal it up.
Given the difference, I would definitely spend the extra $50 for the Velux.
The far left dome is the ODL, the two closer ones are the Velux.
August 28, 2014
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Pattibird What a difference
I purchased 3 of these for my darkest problem rooms, Kitchen, Living room, Garage They are now bright and beautiful. I keep reaching for the switch to shut off the light that I left on and then I smile and realize it is my new solar tube. They were quick and easy to install and I can hardly wait to see my electric bill next month. I even enjoy watching the light flicker as the clouds go over. Now every room in my house is bright and cheerful. Well worth the investment and they qualify for the government rebate for solar items. A added plus for the effort. Going green is affordable, thank you Home Depot!
June 8, 2009
Rated 2.0 out of 5.0 by Joseph Velux..Good...ODL...Not so Good.
Having installed quite a few Velux Sun Tunnels with very good results, we went to our local Home Depot to buy another one for our new home in B.C. Unfortunately, the need for superior products here is not as urgent as it is in the prairies and we were sorry to see the ODL line instead. We figured that there can't be much difference between the two, other than the $100 price difference (higher for Velux). During the install I started to realise why the price is lower. The gauge of metal is significantly thinner and is easily damaged. The protective plastic was installed before the articulations were made and, once removed, made it nearly impossible to rotate to create angles due to the fact that some of it remains trapped between the joints that are meant to swivel. The dome seems to be smaller, allowing less light into the tube and, in the end, the light (what there is of it) seems to have a distinctive blue tint to it. This is very unpleasant and I can only say that I am disappointed in this product.
April 4, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Barb This is a great way to add needed light.
We bought 2 14" ODL tubular skylights. One for the utility room, the other for a bathroom that had no windows. They were both easily installed by my husband, and the extra light produced is fantastic. We have had several people come and try to turn the light off in the bathroom. We are installing another in our kitchen as it does not have enough light, and we love the others so much, and know another one will give us the added light we so much need. The only problem we have had was condensation in the utility room, and ODL sent us another lens to add and we have had no problem since. We wrapped the tubes with 31/2" installation from the roof to the ceilings. Would highly recommend doing this, and also the skylights.,
July 26, 2012
Rated 2.0 out of 5.0 by Pinger Installation instructions lacking
I installed a 14" tubular skylight. The instruction guide indicates that you can turn the top tub to the desired position prior to installing it in the plastic roof flashing. I found that not to be the case. I had a tight turn in the attic, but I could only put the top tube down into the flashing with the smallest of bends because the tube joints would hang up on the flashing. The other problem I had was the tubes wouldn't bend. They put the plastic film in the tubes and into the joints of the tubes so you could hardly turn them at all. I spend hours picking film out of the joints prior and during the installation. I have installed two other tubular skylights from another manufacture, and I did not have these problems!
March 23, 2013
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by dyno316 best buy
this is the second one i have in the house and the light iit throws is awesome
March 31, 2009
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Stuart Very good light. some problems with installation.
I tried a flexible tubing unit and it was junk - would not transmit any light. This unit works very good. I had some problems with twisting the bottom and top tubes so they would go at an angle to fit between the rafters. It was very difficult to make them twist.
January 28, 2012
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Poolgod2002 Lots of Light
I have the 14" model and can't believe the light it puts out.
My install went terrible. Everytime I went to adjust the elbows on it, it fell apart. The extention left gaps if I would have done it thier way. Directions were rotten. Don't give you enough tape for all the seams.
If you were going straight up, I think this thing would be a piece of cake to install, just buy extra tape.
October 13, 2010