Picking a switch for your project seems like an easy enough task but finding the correct one goes beyond aesthetics. There are rocker switches, toggle switches, push button switches, microswitches, and we also offer a range of specialty and vintage switches.
The switch is an essential part of any circuit and as you begin research you’ll find some are more suitable than others for your specific type of projects. Each application will have different component constraints (i.e. voltage, load, terminal, materials, mounting) and these need to be adhered to, but you should also consider things like convenience, regulations, experience, user preference, and reliability.
Rocker switches are commonly used to power a device directly and are available in ON-OFF, ON-OFF-ON, momentary (ON)-OFF, and momentary (ON)-OFF-(ON) sequences; as well as, many different sizes, colors, and lighted options. Whether a lighted switch is lit can be manipulated by multiple circuits or dependent on the switch’s position or force. Depending on what series of switch is purchased, options of terminals include solder lugs, quick slide tabs, switch mount terminals, screw terminals, or PCB pins. Their applications can range from common use to heavy duty.
Toggle switches work through the manipulation of a lever back and forth to open or close electrical circuits. Though it may be counterintuitive, an open circuit is one which disallows the current to flow through it; a closed circuit is one that provides a controlled path for a current to flow. Toggle switches allow for different switch functions: SPDT (Single Pole, Double Throw), SPST (Single Pole, Single Throw), DPDT (Double Pole, Double Throw), and DPST (Double Pole, Single Throw). Like our rocker switches, they come in a variety of colors, sizes, and mountings.
Pushbutton switches are available from miniature sizes up to industrial sizes and many varying lighted and non-lighted colors. To simplify it, when you push the button this switch will power something on; push it again and it goes off. There are also momentary options. Pushing the momentary switch still changes its state, but only while button is being pushed and when released it returns to previous open/close state. Weather-boots can be added. Depending on what series of switch is purchased, options of terminals include solder lugs, quick slide connectors, wire leads, and screw terminals. Many pushbutton switches are IP rated.
Microswitches are commonly applicated in home appliances. For example, when you open the dishwasher or washing machine and the appliance knows to automatically power down. The state of the switch is changed with very little physical force which is applied to the tipping-pointmechanism. The lever, the essential piece in actuating the switch, vary in length depending on the series. This switch is also commonly called a miniature snap-action switch. The switches can fill many roles in your applications: inspection, recognition, condition measurement, operator interface, present positioning, absent positioning, machine interface, etc.
Identifying the right switch for the job and considering the switch’s application in terms of its voltage, load, terminal, materials, mounting, as well as, its design, aesthetics, convenience, regulations, experience, preference, and reliability can save time and avoid errors in the long run.