Shunted vs Non-Shunted | KRM Light+

Shunted Vs Non Shunted Sockets for LED Tube Lights

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Are you confused with shunted LED lights and non-shunted LED tube lights? Check out our guide on the differences between shunted vs non-shunted LED lights.

Shunted vs Non-Shunted | KRM Light+
Shunted vs Non-Shunted | KRM Light+

When most people hear the terms shunted or non-shunted sockets, they would often ask, “what does shunted and non-shunted mean?”

In a nutshell, shunted means joined while non-shunted means not joined. Of course, dealing with LED light sockets is more than just knowing whether the sockets are joined or not. That’s why this guide will focus on everything there is to know about LED lamp sockets, as well as shunted vs non-shunted LED light sockets. 

Let’s start by breaking down LED lamp sockets and why it is very important to take note of their structure. 

What Are LED Lamp Sockets and Why Are They Important?

Before anything else, let’s discuss some of the important things about LED lamp sockets. Lamp sockets are devices that support the LED bulb and make the electricity flow into the bulb. In a sense, it is what connects the bulb to the electricity, allowing the bulb to light up. 

It is important to take note though, that not all sockets are going to be compatible with all LED bulbs. Noting the compatibility is crucial when choosing a light bulb because if the socket and bulb are not compatible, you might end up with an electrical short or a busted light.

Fortunately, most bulbs have an indication in the package as to whether it is compatible with shunted or non-shunted for LED bulbs. If you can’t find the indication, you can always ask the salesperson of the store you’re in. In any case, knowing the compatibility of a bulb and a socket is usually no problem since all the information will be there in front of you.

The bigger issue would be knowing whether your socket is a shunted or a non-shunted one. Most people actually do not know, which is why a lot have problems with their tube light installation. With that, we’ll move on to our shunted vs non-shunted socket comparison guide. 

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Shunted Vs. Non-Shunted: Tips for Telling the Difference

In order to know whether or not your socket is shunted or non-shunted, you can look at these tips. These signs will allow you to distinguish shunted vs non-shunted sockets easily:

  • Socket Holes

This is probably the simplest and most straightforward way to check if the socket is shunted or non-shunted— by counting the number of socket holes. Usually, the shunted sockets would only have two socket holes while the non-shunted ones would have four holes. However, there would sometimes be exceptions, which is why the next method is more trustworthy. However, you can use this method as your initial screening. 

  • Continuity

When we say continuity, we mean the path of current flow. This can be gotten with the help of a voltage meter. For shunted sockets, the continuity will be present in two contacts. This means that they are connected to each other, hence the term “shunted”. 

Non shunted sockets are the opposite though. The contacts are not joined internally, meaning there is no continuity of current flow. Now, the voltage meter will be able to determine this by detecting the continuity flow. If ever the voltage meter lets out a beep, it means there is continuity. If there is continuity, then it is most likely a shunted socket. 

  • Single- or Double-Ended

Another way to determine the compatibility of the LED light to shunted and non-shunted tombstones would be to check whether the LED light is single-ended or double-ended. If your LED tube light is a single-ended type, then it cannot be installed on shunted tombstones. If it is a double-ended type, then it can. 

For the single-ended tombstones, the contacts must have a polarity that is opposite to each other. With that, it cannot work with a LED light that has internal continuity. If you try to put a single-ended tube light on a shunted socket, it will short circuit. 

Take note that double ended types can be compatible with both shunted and non-shunted sockets. So, if you get yourself a double-ended light, you don’t need to worry about compatibility issues. If you bought a single-ended type light and you found out that your socket is shunted, there still is hope to use it though. However, you will need knowledge in rewiring LED tube lights to make it work. 


With that, you now know how to discern between the shunted and non-shunted sockets. Once again, knowing the difference is very important because not all LED lights are compatible with both. There are lights only compatible with the shunted types, and there are also lights only compatible with the non-shunted types. If you buy a bulb that is not compatible with your socket, you’re definitely going to have some problems in the long run.

That is why you have to carefully pay attention to the tips on telling the difference between the two. As long as you know how to tell a shunted vs non-shunted LED tube light, you should have absolutely no issues.

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