Electric Switches & Electric Switch Manufacturers
Electric switches are devices that can open or close an electrical circuit. Many electric switches are binary devices that are either closed to allow the current to pass through the circuit, or they are open and unable to transmit current. Other switches have multiple closed positions that allow currents of varying voltages to pass through, which alters the output of the device or equipment to which the switch is attached.
Though all electrical switches are used to open or close electrical circuits, there are many different kinds of electronic switches. Push button and toggle switches are some of the most common electric switch varieties. Push button switches use a recessed, flush or raised button as the actuator. Toggle switches use a lever, handle or rocker as an actuator. Toggle switches are often used for quick switching, connecting and disconnecting in cases when the control devices are mounted very close to one another. Slide switches break electrical circuits by moving linearly from position to position, interrupting the current’s flow. They provide at least two switch positions, including “on” or “off,” and they are distinguished by their sliding actuators. Rocker switches move when pressed so that one end is raised while the other is depressed. Rotary switches are operated by rotating a control knob. Waterproof switches are enclosed in a watertight housing that is able to resist corrosion, salt, shock, vibrations and other potentially harmful forces. DIP switches are small banks of several switches that are installed in devices like garage door openers and remote controls. When many switches are installed in a single device, that device is often referred to as a switch panel. Switch panels can be composed of several single pole, double pole and other kinds of switches and are used to control multiple electronic circuits.
Some Leading Manufacturers
Woodstock, IL | 815-356-9600
As an ISO certified manufacturer, GAMA Electronics is your source for high quality electric switches and other electronic controls. With over 25 years of experience in the industry, you can count on us to satisfy all of your electric switch needs with expertise and efficiency. We are your partner when it comes to developing the right product and solution, and we will work with you to customize a perfect solution for you! Contact us today to see how we can serve you!
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Watertown, MA | 617-926-1000
With a reputation for exceptional customer service and reliable, high quality switches, United Electric Controls is the premier manufacturer of electric switches and switch products. We specialize in pressure and temperature sensitive applications, but we also welcome your custom applications. We are confident that we can find the right solution for you at the right price. Check out our website or call us for more information!
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Eden Prairie, MN | 800-806-6113
Douglas Corporation designs and manufactures all kinds of custom electronic switches. We take pride in the quality of our work, so we test every product for full circuit functionality before shipping. Our experienced engineers and design team are always ready to work with you to create a custom solution for your exact applications. Call us today to discuss your electric switch requirements!
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Cheshire, CT | 800-313-1246
Since 1972, OSLO Switch has worked to become a global supplier of electric switches. We design and manufacture a diverse range of electric switches, including rocker switches, push buttons, and keylocks. Each of our products is rigorously tested and inspected to guarantee you receive the highest quality product available. Visit our website to submit a request for quote or give us a call to talk to one of our knowledgeable sales representatives!
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Electric switches are identified by various factors, including the actuator, which is a mechanism that applies force to the switch’s contacts. Switches generally consist of conducting material, wires, terminals and actuators housed in a protective casing; these components vary in quantity and arrangement, but they are similar in that they can complete a circuit by allowing an electrical current to flow through them. Switches can be connected to each other in order to increase the circuit options, or they can be used on their own. Electric switches vary in terms of their complexity; complex switches are able to sense a light or magnetic field and react accordingly, while simple switches require physical contact between the conductors and actuator. Switches also vary in size; some are very small and necessitate a miniature tool to operate; some can be flipped with a finger while others require a strong hand.
Electronic switches are also categorized according to the arrangement of internal components. Single pole switches are general purpose switches that offer two actuator positions: “on” and “off.” Single pole switches can be either single throw or double throw, which refers to the number of conducting positions, that is, the number of terminals that will complete the circuit. A double pole switch is an electric switch with a pair of actuators that are either connected or disconnected to a circuit; they may be either single throw (ST) or double throw (DT) depending on how many conducting positions the actuator can be in. Double pole switches are also used to switch appliances using 240 volt circuits to a circuit of a different current. They are commonly are used in devices with multiple mechanical parts that function simultaneously. A switch panel allows users to quickly access a series of mounted electric switches that are arranged in an enclosure. The wires, terminals and other components are hidden within the plastic, metal or wooden housing, while the switches themselves are mounted on the panel’s face. A DIP switch is a circuit board with a packaged group of tiny electrical switches. The set is called a dual in-line package; DIP switches are very small manual binary switches and are an inexpensive way to customize an electronic device. They are easy to operate; flipping a switch turns on the component that coincides with that switch.
Electric switches were invented out of necessity. Having an electrical current flow through a circuit is beneficial, but without a safe and easy way to stop and start it, the possibilities are limited. Switches introduced a new way of using electricity. They are relatively simple and yet have been improved since the first basic switches. Smaller components allow the switches to be downsized and to fit in tighter spaces. They do not require much space, and sometimes the entire electronic device with which the switch is used can be made in a smaller size. Better materials and finer machining allow for high quality parts and components that do not wear out as quickly and that can provide the same service for hundreds if not thousands of repetitions during the switches’ lifetime. These switches can be used in demanding environments where their functionality is critical. Some switches are used with other switches for precise control of the circuit. Using electric switches also helps conserve energy because unused circuits can be shut off, which saves electricity. Instead of having a device or appliance running constantly, they may be powered on only when in use due to the use of an electric switch. Although switches may seem to be simple and basic to their users today, they remain important parts of the devices on which much of the world has come to rely.