A Beginner’s Guide to Rocker Switches
A switch is a switch is a switch right? Well, actually no! Switches come in an unbelievable range of shapes, sizes and designs including rocker switches, toggle switches, thumbwheel switches, joystick switches and push-button switches – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
So what exactly is a rocker switch?
As the name implies, a rocker switch is activated and deactivated with a rocking action in order to enable a circuit to open and close. Most people will be extremely familiar with this type of switch as it is commonly used for switching lights on and off, but there are many other applications.
According to wiseGEEK a particular benefit of the rocker switch is that it cannot be triggered accidentally, as a degree of pressure is needed in order to activate it. It is also relatively easy for someone with limited motor skills to operate as there is no need to hold or grasp any part of the switch.
What are the main uses for the rocker switch?
Apart from being popular for switching lights on and off, the rocker switch is also frequently used for household appliances as it is difficult to activate the switch by accident, which makes for greater home safety.
One of the principal uses for the rocker switch is on surge protectors, computer monitors, power supplies and a wide variety of electrical devices and components. Available in a broad range of sizes, shapes and styles, the rocker part of the switch can be quite curved and pronounced or relatively flat so as to minimize space.
Extra features of the rocker switch
There are a number of additional features which can be incorporated into the rocker switch in order to facilitate its operation. For example, some switches incorporate a light which serves to indicate that the switch is in the ‘on’ position. For applications where the rocker switch has independent circuitry it is possible to illuminate the switch whether it is switched to the ‘on’ or ‘off’ position, which can be useful when it needs to be operated in dark conditions.
The rocker switch is also easily wired into multi-way systems which allow a light to be operated from several different locations. This is particularly useful when someone is going upstairs to bed and wishes to turn off the hall light from upstairs, for example.
When it comes to electronic components the rocker switch is available to buy along with a wide range of accessories. A quick glance through the range of rocker switches from RS Components shows that there are plenty of choices, not only for the switches themselves, but for everything from bezels to actuator tools.
Rocker switches can be completely personalized, from the color of the lens to the type of mounting cheeks, mounting panels and mounting plugs. Boots, connectors, covers and frames can all be customized to create the perfect rocker switch solution for the required operation, ensuring that the switch is exactly to the customer’s specifications and requirements.
Image Credit : http://www.flickr.com/photos/ibselec/5882960362/