Switch 101: Biased Switches, Carling Rocker Switches and More

Switch 101: Biased Switches, Carling Rocker Switches and More

You probably flip a switch every time you turn on your light. There are other types of switches than light switches, however, and they play a large role in the world running smoothly. These include biased switches and Carling rocker switches. Read on for some basic info these two types of major switches used.

What is a Switch?
A switch is basically just an electrical component used to break an electrical circuit, which interrupts the current or diverts it from one conductor to another. Switches can be operated directly by humans or by some sensing element for pressure, flow, or temperature. Switches are designed to handle a large range of voltages and currents.

Biased Switches
You’re probably using a biased switch right now, as they’re used in most computer keyboards! A biased switch is essentially a momentary pushbutton switch and is the most common type of push-to-make switch, meaning that a mechanism is engaged when a button is pressed and breaks when the button is released. The reverse mechanism would be a push-to-break switch, in which contact is broken the button is pressed and made when it is released. Some good examples of this type of switch are the buttons used to release a door held closed by an electromagnet and the interior lamps of a household refrigerator.

Carling Rocker Switches
All rocker switches, including Carling rocker switches, are on/off switches that rock instead of trip when pressed. This means that one side of the switch will be raised while the other side is depressed. It works a lot like a rocking horse, in fact. Rocker switches may have a circle for “on” on one side and a line or dash on the other for “off.” These are commonly used in surge protectors, computer power supplies, display monitors, and many other applications and devices.

If independent circuitry is used, these rocker switches can also have a light activated on the face of the switch that makes it easier to find in the dark. The light can also be made to be activated only when the switch is turned on, making it even more user-friendly.

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