Single ended vs double ended LED Tubes: Key Differences & Benefits

We have created a comparison chart to help you understand the key differences between single and double ended LED Tubes. Please contact us for specialist help and advice.

In this guide:

Find out more about the key differences between a single and double ended LED tube light

Learn more about the terms associated with LED tube fittings

Discover more about LED tubes

Single ended vs double ended LED Tubes

We have compiled the quick guide below to help you understand the difference between a single ended and double-ended LED tube.

Installation/ Fitting

Only one side receives power (called the ‘input end’)

Most come with markers to indicate ‘live’ and ‘neutral’ pins

Neutral pin on one end, live pin on the other

No changes to the socket are required

Easier choice for electricians because it’s low-maintenance


Many are direct-wire and don’t need a ballast

Ballasts can be bypassed

Removing ballasts reduces maintenance and decreases the amount of wattage

Points of Failure

Non-shunted sockets are needed

Requires additional labour and material costs

Can't use existing sockets

There’s a chance of electric shock hazard

UL-certified tubes have anti-shock protection, but they’re few

ETL-certified don’t have anti-shock protection

Cost Difference There’s no cost difference between the two types of tubes.

Easier to set up wires on only one side

Safer to install

Saves on labour costs

Best Sellers


Input End

The side containing both ‘neutral’ and ‘live’ pins. It’s the only side that receives power on single-ended LED tubes.


An electronic component that regulates the electrical current in fluorescent tubes.


Also known as a socket, it’s the electric fixture that secures bulbs and holds them in place.

Shunted Socket

These contain internally connected electrical contact. There’s a single track for the current to travel.

Non-Shunted Socket

It creates a separate entry point, creating 2 different tracks for the current to travel.


‘T’ refers to the tubular shape. The number refers to the tube’s diameter in inches.

  • T5 = 5/8 of an inch (16 mm)
  • T8 = 8/8 of an inch (25 mm)

Sometimes, the T5 is called T16, which refers to the tube’s diameter in mm.

Useful further reading

We have a number of other useful resources relating to LED Tubes:

LED v Fluorescent LED Tubes

How to replace your fluorescent tubes with LED counterparts (includes cost comparisons)

Our most popular brands Energizer, Osram & Sylvania

Our best picks for warm white, white and cool white Led Tubes

Frosted V Clear Led Tubes – what you need to know

Picking T8 Tubes – Budget, Mid-Range and Premium options

Picking T5 Tubes – Budget, Mid-Range and Premium options

Waterproof Led Tubes – what this really means

Glass v Polycarbonate LED Tubes

Single v Double Edge LED Tubes

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