Push button switches are among the most simple electric switch varieties; they are similar to toggle switches in that they are usually used to perform simple circuit modifications. Both toggle switches and push button switches are intuitive and easy to use. Operating a push button switch involves simply depressing the switch until it performs its desired action. They are often equipped with tactile enhancements that help indicate to their users whether or not they have completed their intended action.
Push button switches may be recessed, flush or raised. Recessed buttons are below the base of a product; this prevents accidental switching. Flush switches, on the other hand, are flush with the outside of a surface. Raised buttons are above the level of a surface and are simple to find and push. Each push button variety is applied in a wide variety of contexts; computers, at crosswalks, telephones, industrial machinery, security systems, ATMs, military equipment, casino gaming (slot machines), fitness equipment and a wide variety of other devices can be equipped with push buttons.
Push button switches, like all other electrical switch varieties, are used to change to configuration of the electrical circuits to which they are connected. When an electrical circuit is open, electricity cannot flow through it continuously, thus preventing the operation of the electric device of which the circuit is a part. When a push button switch is used to close an electric circuit, electricity can flow through the circuit uninhibited, thus allowing for the operation of the device of which the circuit is a part.
Push button switches can allow for the sustained or momentary closure of a circuit, depending on their construction. In many cases, such as in computer keyboards or in other similar interface equipment, push buttons are fitted with springs that make the switch retract when it is not depressed, thus keeping the circuit open. Such momentary closure of a circuit can allow for the brief transmission of electricity from one place to another.
In other cases, push buttons can allow for continued electrical flow; such switches have “on” and “off” positions, which are engaged or disengaged with each push of the switch. Whatever their use, push buttons are valuable tools wherever they are installed.