Shunted vs non-shunted - How to Tell What You Need

When choosing the right socket for your lights, always make sure it is a shunted or non-shunted type.

The ballast is like the bouncer for your fixtures, and it allows us to keep our party lit. When we refer to “ballasts” in fluorescent lights (fixtures), there are two types.

How to Identify a Shunted or Non-Shunted Socket

A socket is an important part of any home because it’s the connection point for electricity. Sockets come in all shapes and sizes, but there are two major types: shunted (with internal wiring) or non-shunting (without).

The retrofit LED lamps, unlike their fluorescent counterparts don’t require a ballast to produce high startup voltages and come in two different versions either with direct wiring or a plug-play option.

What is a Tombstone?

Whether shunted or non-shunted, the tombstone is the socket that provides a pathway from the ballast in the light fixture to the pins on either side of the T8 Tube lamp.

How to Tell if You Need a Shunted or Non-Shunted Socket

In the ever-changing world of technology, manufacturers can change what generation a lamp is and how it works. 

The tone should also remain friendly even though there’s some technical jargon included that could make someone who doesn’t know much about electricians feel lost.

Telling the difference between shunted and non-shunted sockets

When the word “shunted” comes up, think of it as another way to say joined or connected.

Non-shunted sockets have two separate contacts for the wires, creating a track on which electricity can travel.

Non-Shunted Rapid Start Tombstones like this are needed.

This introduces a unique requirement in that the sockets must be of the T12 or "Non-Shunted Rapid Start" type.