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What is a Latching Switch?

A latching switch, when wired normally open, can be pressed once to close the electrical circuit and cause something to switch on.

When the pressure is removed from a latching switch it remains on until the user switches it off again by pressing it once to re-open the circuit causing a break in the electrical current. You can also wire them normally closed which reverses the switching status.


This is different to a momentary switch which requires continuous compression to remain on.

Latching switches tend to be used for lower risk applications or where applying continuous pressure to a switch would be inappropriate and inconvenient.

What is a latching switch used for?

The most common known application for a latching switch is a light switch. Once the light switch is compressed once, it requires no more operation for the lights to stay on. Other examples include computers, central heating devices, television, hair dryer and lots of other electrical devices.

Latching switches from Herga

Some applications using latching switches from Herga are:

Air switches – our 6871 air switch has been used as latching switches in spa baths to turn the bubbles on and off. They have also been used for switching waste disposals on and off and as light switches.

Footswitches – our footswitches have been used in the past for latching applications. Some which are more commonplace are tattoo machines; the tattooist can turn on the machine by pressing the footswitch and the machine will remain on whilst the tattoo is completed. Another example of a latching application for a Herga footswitch is a lathe, this is a machine used for shaping wood, metal or other materials. The footswitch is actuated which will cause the lathe to spin the piece of wood or metal so that it can be shaped and carved.  Our footswitches which have latching capabilities are our 6251 – part of the 625x range and our 6289-PP and 6289 treadle.

If you have a latching application you need a switch for or are after more information please contact us +44(0)1284 701422 or sales@herga.com

Article published on: 13/12/2018

Article last updated on: 13/12/2018