If it’s your first time dealing with LED tube lights, then you should be aware that there are two kinds– the single ended LED light and the double ended LED light.

Being a first timer, you probably don’t know the difference between the two and don’t know which one is most suitable for your needs. Fortunately, this is something that we can easily explain to you. 

Below we are going to explain the differences between a single ended vs double ended led tubes. We’ll also give you an idea which ones are used for what purpose so that you’ll know which one you’ll want to get. 

So without further introduction, let’s get started!

What’s the Difference Between Single Ended Vs Double Ended LED Tubes

LED Tubes

  • The Main Difference Between the Two

They are actually more similar than different. They only have one main difference and a few small differences, but let’s focus on the main difference first. The main difference lies in how you install the two. 

As the name implies, a single ended tube is powered from just one end. That means you just need to hook the wiring to one end to get it to work. 

On the other hand, a dual ended tube requires you to hook the wiring on both sides of the tube to get it to work. In theory, it actually sounds pretty simple, but when you start doing the installation, you’ll find that they both have their own specific pros and cons. 

In order to know the pros and cons, you need to first understand how they both work. That way, you’ll see why some people prefer single ended tubes while others prefer the double ended ones. 

We’ll explain all of that below. 

  • How a Single Ended LED Tube Works

Let’s start with the single ended tube. As we mentioned above, only one side will power the light. This means that there are live wires on only one end. To be more specific, the two pins on the live end consists of one neutral pin and one live pin. 

Because of this feature, the installation of the single ended tubes is more straightforward. The wiring is actually as simple as that of a normal flashlight or a handheld UV light for urine detection. That’s why electricians prefer this type over the double ended type. 

  • How a Double Ended LED Tube Works

Now that we know how the single ended tube works, let’s focus on the double ended tubes. These ones require you to place wirings on both sides. For the single ended types, one side has a neutral and a live pin. 

But for the double ended types, there is a live pin on one side and a neutral pin on the other side. As expected, double ended tubes are a little more complicated to install because of this feature. 

However, it is the most low maintenance type of light to have if you plan on installing a chain of lights. We’d say that using single ended tubes to form a chain of lights is not easy since the wires can all get tangled on one side. But with double ended LEDs, the wires are arranged on both sides properly. 

That’s why these types are recommended for, let’s say, greenhouse lights or LED lights for grow tents


Now that you know the differences between the two, the bottomline is really to answer the question, “which is better single ended vs double ended LED tubes?”

Unfortunately, we can’t give you a straight answer. We will have to say that it really depends on what you need your LED lights for. If you just want a simple LED tube light for your kitchen, house, or office, then we’d recommend the single ended types because they’re easy to install. 

But if you plan to chain tube lights together, we recommend the double ended types since they’re more low maintenance for this type of purpose. 

So between the single ended vs double ended led tubes, the best one will depend on how you want to use your LED tubes. In truth, there really isn’t a better light. There is only the most suitable type for whatever needs you have. 


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