Rocker switches are electrical switches, the movement of which resembles a seesaw over a fulcrum. Designed for use in low voltage and current level circuits, rocker switches are available in a variety of sizes, ratings, colors and termination types.
Rocker switches are among the most popular electronic switch varieties. A few reasons for this popularity are their ease of use, simplicity and effectiveness. Rocker switches are used in an extensive range of contexts. In industry, they can often be found in switch panels alongside other kinds of electrical switches, such as toggles and rotary switches. In commercial and consumer products contexts, they can be found on power strips, as light switches, on computers, on lamps and in a wide variety of other applications.
Rocker switches take their name from the way in which they operate. The movement of a rocker switch closely resembles the back-and-forth movement of a seesaw; when one end of the switch is depressed, the other end is raised. This contributes to the immediate apparentness of the switch’s position to whoever may be operating it. In many industrial contexts, this ease of use can be essential to the effectiveness of an industrial process or even to the safety of a workspace.
Rocker switches can be made out of a variety of materials. Like many other switch varieties, they can be made of opaque or clear plastic. Plastic is so widely employed as a switch material because of its electrical non-conductivity, low cost, high-performance and other favorable physical properties. Rocker switches can be fitted with indicator lights that can be made visible through the plastic of the switch; the lights can be used to make the switch more easily visible or to indicate the status of the circuit that the switch controls.
Depending on the material out of which the switch is constructed, it can be made to varying specifications of color and texture. Especially in the context of switch panels, color coding can be very helpful in distinguishing switches from each other. Rocker switches may be marked with a circle (for “on”) and a horizontal line (for “off”) so that the user knows what position the switch is in. They are low-cost, low-maintenance, easy to operate electrical switches.