Types of Electrical Switch

Electrical switches are part of our product range at Herga. This is a huge category and can be broken into different types of electrical switches.

What is an electrical switch?

An electrical switch is a switching device powered by electricity. They can be buttons, hand controls, footswitches or microswitches.  They are used to either make or break an electrical circuit (depending on if they are wired normally open or normally closed). Essentially, an electrical switch is used to turn a device ON or OFF.

An electrical switch can be activated either manually or automatically depending on the application. They can also be contactless, using motion or wireless technology to activate.

Types of electrical switch – poles and throws

Within an electrical switch there are different types of poles and throws. There can be either one or two of each.

A pole is the number of separate circuits one switch can control. So, a single pole switch will control one circuit and a double pole switch will control 2 separate circuits.

A throw is the amount of connections activated by the same switch. A double through switch will have 2 positions where an electrical connection is made as well as a neutral position whereas a single pole switch will have one connection and a neutral.

An electrical switch can use any combination of poles and throws;

  • Single pole single throw
  • Single pole single throw
  • Double pole single throw
  • Double pole double throw

Find out more about these types of electrical switches in our blog posts

Types of electrical switch – latching or momentary

All electrical switches fall into either category; latching or momentary. This refers to how they are operated and only relates to switches which are manually operated.

A latching switch requires one compression to switch on and then another compression to switch off. This is a typical light switch or any electrical appliance.

A momentary switch requires continuous compression to ensure the contact remains within the electrical circuit. Like a buzzer or an electric drill. Continuous compression is required to keep the connection. This is useful in applications in higher risk environments so machines and devices cannot be left running.

Types of electrical switches from Herga

We have a wide range of electrical switches – take a look at our product pages;

Within our electrical switches we also offer

In addition to electrical switches we also have a range of pneumatic switches which use air to operate, take a look at our range of pneumatic switches here.

For more information on electrical switches or any of the products we offer please contact us.

Article published on: 28/02/2022