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Best Top 5 Types of Modern Switches You Should Know

Views: 18     Author: China Micro Switch Manufacturer     Publish Time: 2020-08-19      Origin: https://www.unionwells.com/

Over the years, there have been lots of switches produced to help electrical appliances and other devices function properly. These have made experts to believe that the future is very bright when it comes to switches that can be produced to support lots of devices/appliances in order to ensure they are working effectively as expected. The problem is that most people have found it hard when it comes to identifying switches that are perfect for their projects. As simple as this may sound, it can make the difference. For instance, if you have an appliance that is not functioning well, it is crucial to know the right switches which can be used. 

Although there are different switches in the market, these have been produced to carry out unique and specific functions on devices. There is no need to rack your brains as this post will be helping out today. It is aiming to reveal some of the different types of modern switches that you can make use of today for different projects. All you have to do is choose the one that will be perfect for your electrical project from the various options discussed below. 

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Here are the types of switches

Modern switches are of various types in the market. The major reason for this post is to avoid any form of confusion that may want to arise when trying to make a choice for your project. The top switches that will be discussed here are:

Pressure switch

Limit switch 

Rocker switch 

Detector switch 

Micro switch 

Pressure switch

Just as the name sounds, pressure switches have been designed to ensure that the pressure levels in machines are monitored and checked. There is always a setpoint that such pressure is expected to reach/hit in the machine. Once this happens, the pressure switch will have the machine deactivated. This means it will stop working until the amount of pressure goes down again and reaches a setpoint. The major aim of a pressure switch is to ensure situations of over or under pressure are monitored and avoided. 

This is to help machines or systems function/work as expected. When a machine works for a very long period of time without stopping, there is likely to be problems in the long run as it can easily breakdown thereby halting other activities. This is where a pressure switch comes into play. Every pressure switch you come across today have a similar purpose even though they may be of different types and designs. 

This is to check pressure through open and closed contacts. They usually contain sensing components (sensors) and switch. It is through the sensor that amount of pressure is constantly monitored to know whether it has reached the setpoint or not. The switch can have the machine or system turned on/off once the pressure is detected to be less or high through the sensing component. They are very useful especially in systems that make use of pressurized fluids. 

Components of a pressure switch 

Having known what is a pressure switch and why organizations are making use of it more than ever before, it is crucial to talk about is components as shown in the diagram below. 

Auto/off lever

This is also known as its knob in some cases. In order for the contacts to be separated manually, this component will play a crucial role. In simple terms, it is the knob which is responsible for providing input to a particular device. A pressure switch is usually operated through its auto/off lever as shown above. You can see its handle which can either be pulled backwards or forward. 


These represent points whereby power leads (outgoing and incoming) will be connected to such pressure switch. 


Most pressure switch that you will come across have been designed to have two contacts. These are normally closed and normally open contacts. The normally open contact ensures that the flow-on process is activated. In other words, the machine or system is under pressure and thus reaches a setpoint and starts working. 

The normally closed is to ensure flow-on process is interrupted temporarily when the pressure reaches its set point. In other words, there will be over pressure when this does take place. It is the contact that determines whether the system circuit will experience breakage or not. 


Once the pressure has reached its setpoint as expected and detected by a pressure switch, diaphragm has the role of forcing the contacts to remain apart. Simply put, it has the role of breaking the circuit thereby stopping the motor from working. 

Relief Valve

You will find this in the base of the pressure switch like shown in the picture above. Once the contacts in the pressure switch separate, this valve will be actuated by a lever thereby helping to relieve trapped pressure between check valve and the pump. 

How a pressure switch works

It should be noted that there are different types of pressure switches in the market. However, they tend to follow a similar pattern when it comes to how they have been designed to work. In order to help you understand this process much better, water pump will be used as illustration. In this case, it is important to note that pressure switches depend on water pressure in order to get the job done. It is the water which brings about pressure change thereby causing contacts to either close or open. 

Whenever the pressure drops, the open contacts will become closed. This is the stage whereby the circuit is said to have been activated. The pump will start working as expected once this happens. Once the amount of pressure has reached its setpoint, the contacts will again become open. This will help the pump to stop working. 

You will notice that the process is automatic as you do not have to bother about when the amount of pressure has reached its limit. The sensing components handles this process on its own and determines when such can be done. The truth about pressure switch is that they are increasingly becoming very popular especially amongst organizations which are aiming to minimize cost of production. 

Rocker switch 

It is no surprise that rocker switches are amongst the most popular switches in the world. They are used in various electronic appliances far more than you can even imagine. This is a reflection of their usefulness in devices and appliances. As a matter of fact, over 80% of electronics being produced today have rocker switches. For instance, you will find them in most modern constructions or homes as compared to conventional switches. The reason for this that they are more reliable and effective in helping devices to function optimally.  


What is a rocker switch?

Rocker switches have been designed to have appliances/devices powered on/off. They have been built to toggle between two states. As you can see from the picture presented above, every rocker switch has two sides. These determine whether they have been switched on/off. These switches can rock back as well as forth in order to have your device or appliance powered on/off. As you press one side downwards, the other side will be automatically raised up indicating that your device has been turned on or turned off. 

There is one thing or feature that is similar to every rocker switch you will come across. This is the fact that both sides do not maintain the same position. For instance, both sides cannot remain downwards at the same time. It is either side A is remaining downwards while side B is remaining upwards or vice versa. There are some rocker switches which have lights to indicate that your device has been switched on whenever they are pressed. 

Uses of a rocker switch 

Just as explained above, rocker switches can be used in various ways. There is no doubt that you must have seen some of the switches shown above in different types of appliances. They have broader uses than you can ever imagine. Some of the appliances that you will find them are stabilizers, audio amplifiers, control panels, power supply units, medical systems, de-humidifiers, vacuum cleaners, and safety products. The appliances using these switches today are numerous. This is only a sign of their high level of reliability. 

How does a rocker switch work? 

Just as explained above, rocker switches are designed to rock in one direction at a time. When this happens, circuits can be broken in order to interrupt the flow of current into your device or appliance. Once rocked in the other direction, power flow will be restored thereby making the device to start functioning again. For instance, if you look at a stabilizer carefully, you will discover that pressing the rocker switch downwards can either have it turned on or off. Once it is not working, such means the rocker switch is maintaining a position whereby there is breakage of circuit. On the other hand, there is flow of power or current when it is maintaining the other position. 

Components of a rocker switch

In order to understand how rocker switches work, it is very important to know what its components are. Every rocker switch you will come across have two components. These are its contacts and actuator. It is these components that will determine whether current can flow into a device or not. These are its: 



It is the actuator which enables the switch to be rocked back and forth in order to have devices switched on/off. Without the presence of an actuator, it becomes impossible for forces to be applied on the contacts. Talking about contacts which are the remaining components, they determine whether such switch is on/off. 

The contacts of a rocker switch can either be closed or open depending on how it has been designed. Electricity or current flow is allowed through closed contact. In such case, the switch has been turned on thereby ensuring your device is working. Open contact on the other hand, is that stage whereby electricity in such device is interrupted. There is circuit breakage indicating that the device or appliance is not working. 

Once you a press a rocker switch for your device to be switched on, it means you want it to maintain a closed contact position. On the other hand, once you want to have the switch pressed again for such device to be switched off, it means you want it to maintain open contact position. The closed position happens to be that state whereby contacts are touching each other to allow flow of electricity. Conversely, open position is that point where there is separation between contacts to stop the flow of electricity. 


The closed position simply signifies when a rocker switch is working since there is flow of electricity. The open position signifies that a rocker is not working because there is separation between contacts. While the first position will make your appliance being powered by such switch to be functional, the other position will make the appliance stop working. 

What is the difference between a rocker switch and a toggle switch?

There is something most people usually do not understand about rocker switches. This is the fact that they are very much different from toggle switches in lots of regards. For instance, if you are building a structure or carrying out some renovations and want something that looks modern, rocker switches are the best option to explore. One of the advantage that rockers switches have is that they are a perfect fit for most projects. This is because apart from reliability, their designs are appealing. This can make your home look great. 

You will usually find rocker switches in different types of finishes as compared to toggle switches. It is all about choosing the one that suits your project. From the above, it can be said that a major difference between toggle switches and rocker switches is that while the former seems to be more classic, the latter looks modern. 

Limit switches

Another switch that seems to be very popular amongst people around the world is limit switch. You may not be using it at the moment due to lack of awareness of how it can help your device and appliances work without any hassle. Research has shown that limit switches are becoming increasingly popular in household appliances and other tools being used for industrial purposes. Some of the details below will shed some light about these switches. 

What actually is a limit switch?

Just as the name implies, this switch has been designed to help sense whether an object in a device or appliance has reached its limit or not for a particular feature to manifest. They are meant to monitor whether movement limits have been exceeded or not in a device or appliance. Originally, limit switches have been built to help define endpoints which objects are allowed to travel before they will be stopped. In a nutshell, they are meant to put some restrictions on how such objects move or function. 

Without the use of limit switch to build devices, optimal function becomes almost impossible. This is because there will always be problems experienced when such devices start going through some changes. 

Components of a limit switch 

Just as explained above about the other switches, limit switches are not any different. They have various components that work in order to ensure their functions become a reality in devices. For instance, they consist of the following components: 


Electrical terminals 

Switch body mechanism

It is the operating head which comes in physical contact with the device or object. The actuator will be attached or connected to the operating head. It is the component which determines whether the switch will be maintaining an open or closed position in such device. The terminals are connected to the contacts of such switch. Through the aid of screws, wires will be joined to terminals of the switch. 

It is important to note that even in an industrial setting, limit switches are used in most occasions. For instance, they are used in controlling machinery automatically to ensure they perform optimally. 

Factors to be considered in limit switch installation 

Although limit switches are being used in industrial environments, there are some factors that are usually considered in order to make the right installation. Trying to ignore this can bring about disaster eventually. Below are some of the variables to be taken into consideration. 

Consider size 

This is usually one of the first factors taken into considerations when it comes to limit switches that are being used in industrial machines. If you are using a machine with huge capacity, it is very important to install a limit switch that matches its capacity. Anything short of this can make such switch to compromise in terms of how its functions are carried out.  

On the other hand, if you choose a limit switch that matches the capacity of your industrial machine, there is every chance that it will function without stress. In case you do not know, limit switches are usually of various sizes. Carry out an in-depth research about the sizes available before making a decision on which one to install for your project. Other factors that need to be looked at are stroke rate, mounting method and operational force.  

Operations/uses of a limit switch 

Most of the time, you will find a limit switch functioning once a moving component or machine comes in physical contact with an actuator. This can also happen once there is contact with operating levers through which such switch is being actuated. It is through the presence of a limit switch the electrical circuit will be regulated. When this happens, the machine will be controlled including its various parts/components. 

Limit switches can also play the roles of pilot devices in control circuits (magnetic starters). Through this function, an electric motor can either be accelerated, slowed down, stopped or started. It is also possible for such switches to play the role of control instruments in machinery. This is usually to prevent situations of malfunction. This simply means that without their presence in most machines, it becomes impossible for optimal functions. 

Limit switch contacts 

Most of the switches you will find in the market have been designed to maintain two states of contact. These are normally open and closed. For a limit switch to function properly and enable machines work as expected, these contacts are present. They may sound simple and ordinary but they are responsible for determining the state of change that will occur in devices using limit switch. For instance, normally closed is that point whereby there is contact between points thereby permitting the flow of current.  

Normally open contact on the other hand is that point whereby current will not flow into a device or machine. This is because a particular point has been reached. It is the point where there is separation between contacts thereby leading to circuit breakage in a machine. When your machine or appliance that uses a limit switch is not working, it can be said that it is in a state of normally open. This is usually a dormant state. 

What you need to know about limit switches 

Easy installation 

This is probably one of the reasons why most companies are preferring the use of limit switches. They are very easy to install that you do not need any special knowledge or skill to start using one today. In a nutshell, you do not need to be an expert.  

Their rugged nature

Limit switches have been designed to withstand different harsh conditions. This makes them to be more reliable than most switches you will find in markets. Their reliability is reflected in their designs and functionalities. 

Low power consumption 

This is another fact about limit switches that has made it to be more popular. While carrying out their functions, they require low power for such to happen. 

Other advantages are their ability to be used in machines, switching of multiple loads, compatibility with different industrial settings. 

Detector switch 

The advent of detector switches has managed to change how most appliances, gadgets and devices function. This has made them to be the favorite for most companies that are into the manufacturing/production of such items. These switches are more popular than you can ever imagine. 

What is a detector switch?

Given its name, there is no doubt that you can easily understand how it has been designed to function. It is any switch has been built to carry out the function of detecting mechanical movements which are internal. The aim is to ensure that manual operations of humans are converted into electronic signals in the form of output. Under normal circumstances, detector switches carry out similar function as what you have in sensor switches. 

This means their role is to carry out the detection within a device or appliance with the aim of producing signals. Initially when these switches came into existence, they were not that popular amongst companies and individuals. However, such is beginning to change as there are lots of companies making use of different detector switches more than ever before. One of the reasons for existence of detector switches is to ensure lower cost operation. 

For instance, a detector light switch has been built in a way that it can be turned on automatically as soon as anyone enters a particular room. Once you leave, it will turn off by itself. This means no one is expected to be turning it on/off. Based on this, it is obvious what a detective switch can help you achieve. It will ensure lots of activities are automated to save cost. 

Best tips for buying detector switch 

Despite all the advantages of using a detector or sensor switch, there is a problem you are likely to experience. This is the fact that you may not get good value for money by purchasing the wrong one for your project. Follow the tips below to get the best detector switches. 

Consider your project/needs

This is very important and should not be taken for granted in any way. The truth about detector switches is that they are of various types. While one may be great for a particular project, others may fall short. Trying to purchase and install the latter can cause lots of problems for you in the long run. In a nutshell, it is important to analyze the reason why you need such detector switch in the first place. This will enable you know the type to purchase in terms of model and size. 

For instance, you want to buy a light detector switch, it is important to consider where it will be installed in your home and how such can be done. It is a wrong strategy to purchase before taking these factors into consideration. This is because such switches are of different types. There are times your own may require some customization to function properly. 

Functionalities should be considered

It is very important to understand the fact that detector switches are different in terms of functionalities and features. Do not forget that they have been designed or built to play the role of sensor switches. This means they detect and give out electronic signals which causes an action to take place. For instance, detector switches usually have distance ranges that they are meant to function. This means that for them to carry out such detective function, it is important that they are operating with their stated ranges. 

These ranges usually vary amongst detective switches you will come across in the market. Therefore, it is very crucial to understand the particular switch that will be suitable for your project based on its functionalities. Some of such switches you will come across have much higher functionalities than others. In a situation whereby you seem confused about which one to purchase due to lack of knowledge on how they function, it will not be a bad idea to ask the seller. Most of them understand how these switches have been built to work.  

User reviews 

This is probably one of the most important tips you should never ignore in order to get the best from a detective switch. Before making the final decision to purchase such switch, try to find out the opinion of users about its level or reliability. This is very important especially when you are trying to do such online since there are lots of fake and substandard detector switches in the market. Purchasing any of such will not do you any good. 

Sellers usually have customer reviews about detector switches they are selling. Even if you cannot find any, it will help to carry out some research on other platforms to know what people are saying about such model. This will save you the stress of purchasing the wrong switch that cannot be used for such project. The bottom line is that the opinion of users who are using such item are very important in the process of reaching a decision.  

How does a detector switch work?

Just as explained above, detector switches are becoming more popular than the conventional switches you used to know. This can be traced to how they have been built to help automate processes which could have been carried out manually. Light detector switches are a typical example of how they function. Although the electricity cost generated through usage of your bulbs is small, it will amount to something substantial in the long run. This is typical of situations when the lights remain switched during the day time. 

This is the major function of a detector switch as it will help to sense whether someone is inside the room or not. In a situation whereby there is a person inside the room, the lights will be turned on without the help of anyone. On the other hand, they lights will get turned off automatically when the person leaves. It is therefore, obvious that detector switches are existing to automate some activities in environments through their abilities to detect changes. 

Micro switch 

There is no doubt that the use of micro switch is becoming very obvious not just in appliances and devices but also in other fields. This is due to its high level of reliability and durability. In case you are handling a project, using a micro switch can prove to be one of the best decisions you will ever make since it can offer you a lot more as compared to conventional switches. The details below will discuss some facts about micro switches. They will help you understand why these switches are regarded as some of the best around. 

What is a micro switch used for

There are lots of applications using a micro switch today in various ways. Some of these will be highlighted below:

Sliding doors

These doors make use of micro switches to open and close at various intervals. They will automatically open without the help or aid of anyone. This is the function of a micro switch. They will not close until the person has entered into the place. This process of detecting when to close and open is determined by a micro switch. It can be said to be the engine room or brain behind the functionalities of such doors. They are being used in organizations and luxury houses. 

Washing machine

The advent of washing machines have made washing of clothes and other household items to be very easy. However, micro switches has been able to play a major role in making such a reality. For instance, it helps in detecting the water level inside the washing machine. Also, micro switch can detect whether the door is closed to enable it work properly as expected. In other words, the open/closed status of a machine is determined by a micro switch. 


It will amaze you to know that micro switches are used in photocopiers. The function they carry out here is detecting of problems related to paper jam. Of course, with an issue such as this, such device will not work effectively. 


This is another popular way through which micro switches are being used at the moment. Just like in washing machines, they detect whether their doors are open or closed properly.   

The truth about micro switches is that they are used in a variety of modern applications. Some other ways that are being put to various uses are arcade buttons, vending machines and elevators. 

What are the contacts of a micro switch?

In order to understand how a micro switch functions, it is important to know more about its contacts. Most snap action switches (also known as micro switches) have 3 contacts. These are known as common, normally open and normally closed. 

From the diagram above, it can be seen that there are three contact points as stated earlier on. It is the contact points which determine whether current/electricity will flow into a device or not. Please note that micro switches are designed and built differently. For instance, you may not find one that looks like the above diagram. Instead, you can find something like this below.  

You will notice that the design are different when compared. However, there is no need to be confused since the three contact points are still present. In other words, they both function in a similar manner despite their different structures. 

When there is contact between the common and normally closed, your device will be powered. This will take place by pressing down the upper switch via the lever. Immediately your hand is released from the lever. There will be contact between the common and normally open. This will bring about disconnection of electricity thereby making the device not to function again. Micro switches are spring loaded which makes it possible for the common and normally open to make contact after your hand has been released from the lever. At such point, it can be said that a micro switch has returned to its default state or position. 

What is a micro switch in a car? 

One thing that most people are yet to understand about micro switches is the fact that they are also used in most modern cars. The world of technology has advanced to the extent that most cars carry out features automatically without out the help of anyone. For instance, have you ever seen those cars whereby doors are closing on their own? It could even be that the windows or doors are being operated from the seat of the driver. In most cases, such is the work of a micro switch. 

They are included in cars to ensure automation in terms of how doors/windows will close and open. Another aspect where micro switch seems to be working in most cars is traffic lights. Some cars have lights that automatically detect when the day is getting dark. In such instance, they will make the lights to be turned on without the driver doing anything. 

Just as said, the advent of micro switch is to ensure that cars are performing much better than before. They are being integrated into automobiles today in order to make them function automatically. Thus, when the micro switch is faulty, it becomes difficult for such cars to function. Their doors and windows will malfunction unless the owners decide to be opening and closing them manually. Based on this, it can be said that micro switches have been installed in cars to ensure automation especially in terms of how doors and windows open/close. 

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Based on the above facts, it is obvious that these switches are the best that can help your electrical appliances or devices function properly. In case you are handling a project, it will be better to choose any of them in order to ensure success. You only need to analyze such project with a view to knowing the best switch that can fit in perfectly.  There is no doubt that with all of these switches, you cannot get it wrong as such appliance/device will function as expected. 

For more about micro switches,you can pay a visit to unionwell at https://www.unionwells.com


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