push buttons

A Basic Guide To Push Button Switches

Switches, like many other electrical fixtures, are available in a variety of types, features, and capabilities. So, we have put together this guide for you to gather a basic understanding of switches, particularly the push buttons type. 

What are Push Button Switches? 

A push button switch, also commonly known as push switch is a tool that is “pushed” to create or disrupt a process of an electrical circuit. In simple words, it is an object that is pushed to make a gadget or a device to do or end something. Push buttons are available in a plethora of options and are of various sizes, shapes and come in multitude of features. 

Push Switch To Construct or Destruct

A push to make switch is used when the electrical flow in a circuit is made to operate when the push button is pressed. When this pressing action is released the electrical circuit gets deconstructed and breaks the flow of electricity in the circuit. And this is the most commonly used switch type. 

On the other hand, a push to break switch functions opposite to the previously mentioned mechanism where the push button once pressed ceases the electrical flow through the circuit. 

The Poles and Throws: 

There are quite a variety of poles and throw switches that are available. These are: 

  • The single pole and single throw switch are designed in a way that they have a single input and a single output. 
  • The single pole and double throw switches are constructed with three terminals; consisting of one common pin and two pins which compete for connection to the common. This type of switch is suitable for gadgets that select between two power sources. 
  • Double pole and double throw switches are primarily two single pole and double throw switches that command two different circuits and are put together by a single actuator. 

The Latching Function:

A momentary switch with a latching function functions with a force which presses the button. Once the force is removed the switch is no more engaged and the latching switch continues to operate and maintain that state once it has been pressed till the time the push button is pressed again in order to release the switch. 

PCB or Panel Mounting: 

A PCB switch, as the name suggests, is directly mounted on a Printed Circuit Board. Such PCB switches are designed to sit flat and directly on a the circuit board. On the contrary, ‘Through-Hole’ PCB switches are placed inside a drilled hole on the printed circuit board and are soldered to pads on either side. 

Whereas panel mount switches are placed from below inside a hole and in a panel. These are specifically designed to function outside an enclosure. 

LED Illumination Options 

A specific kind of push buttons that are available are non-illuminated and illuminated push switches. The type to be used depends on the function and the design of the product. A plethora of LED illumination options are present such as single, bi-colour, dual colour or even RGB LED illumination. Nonetheless, the illumination of the display varies and these variations include: 

  • Ring Illumination 
  • Dot Illumination 
  • Custom text/ symbol illumination 
  • Full illumination 

IP Ratings of Push Button Switches: 

IP ratings demonstrate the protective power of the switch from dust and water and guides you weather your switch needs to be weatherproof or not. In case weatherproof switches are required, it needs to come with higher IP ratings to ensure well protection and the function of the switch. 


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