A Quick Guide To Fluorescent Light Socket Types

Posted By : Timothy Harvard , on Oct, 2019


There are a few different components on fluorescent light fixtures that can fail with age and use. With these fixtures, replacing the failed component is a much cheaper option than completely replacing the entire fixture.

A common and simple part replacement includes replacing the fluorescent light bulb base, or the socket. This can be required if the socket was damaged during installation or removal of a bulb, some type of impact or other types of issues.

There is a wide range of different styles of fluorescent tubes, which are also more commonly known as bulbs. It is critical to know the type of bulb used in the fixture to be able to select from the various fluorescent light socket types.

Design of the Socket and the Bulb Base

The bulbs and fluorescent light socket types have compatible ends, which is also important as it prevents the use of the incorrect bulb for the ballast and fixture in most applications.

The tubes either have a bi-pin (two pins) or a single pin design, with some having a recessed double contact end, which is more of a flat, raised surface on the end of the bulb that matches the configuration of the socket. The two-pin or two leg types of fluorescent light bulbs have different leg spacings, which is the measurement from the center of one pin to the center of the other.

The socket types can be designed for use with high output bulbs, circline sockets for the round tube shaped bulbs, and a range of slide on and straight insertion types of sockets.

In addition, fluorescent light socket types include shunted and non-shunted options. Shunted sockets have joined contacts, allowing for a single flow of electrical current. Non-shunted sockets are not joined or have no connection between the two sides.

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