The common types of Electrical Switches

As essential components in various electrical assemblies, electrical switches control the flow of electricity to different machinery and equipment. As such, they play a crucial role in ensuring the safety, convenience, and efficient operation of electrical circuits across numerous industries. To better understand these complex devices, we will explore some common types and uses so that you find the right switch for your particular needs.

Toggle Switches

For starters, toggle switches are one of the most popular types of switches applied in electrical circuits and consist of a lever or handle that can either be moved up and down or side to side to open or close a circuit. Frequently seen in home lighting systems, electronic devices, and appliances, these switches are reliable, user-friendly, and available in different configurations to suit diverse applications.

Push Button Switches

Push button switches are another popular kind of switch found in many electrical systems. For their operation, they are designed to be pressed like a button to open or close a circuit, making them ideal for control panels, machinery, and automation systems. In particular, they offer momentary contact, which means the circuit is closed only when the button is pushed. In addition to their other features, these switches often have illuminated indicators to provide visual feedback.

Rocker Switches

Commonly used in household appliances, automotive applications, and industrial machinery, rocker switches rock back and forth to open or close a circuit. Moreover, these switches are not only equipped with a pivoting mechanism that allows the user to easily toggle between two positions, but they also offer a larger surface area for actuation, making them suitable for conditions requiring high current and voltage ratings.

Rotary Switches

Rotary switches consist of a rotating spindle or knob that selects different electrical contacts or positions. As these switches are versatile, they are often used in devices that require multiple settings or functions, such as audio equipment, dimmer switches, and industrial control panels. Additionally, they can be customized to accommodate various configurations, including multiple poles and positions.

Limit Switches

Limit switches are specialized switches that detect the presence or absence of an object within a specified range. For instance, when an object comes into contact with the actuator of a limit switch, the electrical circuit is either opened or closed, subsequently triggering a specific action or operation. Overall, these switches are typically seen in machinery and automation systems to provide safety and control functions.

Float Switches

As we make it to the end of our list, we cannot go without mentioning float switches, which are widely employed in water tanks, sump pumps, and other fluid control settings. They consist of a buoyant float that rises or falls with the liquid level, actuating a switch mechanism at set points. By activating or deactivating pumps or valves to maintain desired levels, these switches monitor and control the level of liquids.


If you are in search of top-grade electrical switches, there is no better source than Purchasing Sphere. Here on our website, you can find a wealth of electrical components ready for immediate purchase. To ensure a seamless procurement experience, you can easily request quotes for your comparisons on any listings that capture your attention through our RFQ service. More than that, with a widespread supply network and a wealth of market expertise, we are proud to offer some of the quickest lead times in the industry. At Purchasing Sphere, we are always ready to find a solution fit to your operational requirements!


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