Are Push Button Switches Still Relevant?

March 9, 2022

Human history can be said to follow certain patterns. One of them is that whenever innovation happens, it is met with skepticism and even with fear.

Such was the case of a piece of technology that today is almost ubiquitous. I don´t think we could imagine passing a single day without having to use a push-button switch or have to interrupt something.

But when these devices were first introduced, people were reluctant to use them. Push-button switches came into the market by the end of the 17th century. Of course, these were rudimentary of technology, not the sophisticated buttons that now are in all of our electronic devices or keyboards.

These started to appear in even more places, and people started to become anxious around them. Some openly feared buttons would lead to muscular atrophy as humans would forget how to use their hands for even the most menial tasks.

Soon, doorbells, elevators, and light switches all would use this innovative interface to perform mundane tasks with a small touch. This was part of an ongoing technological transformation that hasn’t stopped after more than 200 years.

Curiously enough, people, in general, became acquainted with the technology behind these small devices. Some expressed worry that buttons would relieve individuals of the responsibility about what goes on inside the switch, or seal the wonders of electricity away from those who depend on it. These thinkers and public figures proposed a broad electrical education so consumers could interrogate these inventions.

Be it because of these educational efforts, or because individuals were incredibly curious back then, it seemed that everyone had a completely functional knowledge of electrical circuits and the role push-button switches played. Children back then used to create buzzers and electric bells without a problem.

Nowadays, we take these devices for granted. We use them to communicate with one another, to control the environment around us, and even to entertain ourselves. However, even when buttons are almost everywhere we look, and their technology hasn’t changed much, most of us have to call an electrician to install a doorbell or a light switch.

How Do Push Button Switches Work?
Electrical circuits must be closed to allow the free flow of electrons. However, if we want to control the flow of electrons, we usually install an interrupter that opens and closes the circuit when we push it.

Push buttons work by completing an electrical circuit. When you push the button, it completes the circuit and allows the current to flow to the light or other device. When the button is released, the circuit is opened and the current stops flowing.

Do We Still Need Push Button Switches?
With the advent of touch screens and other ways to activate our favorite machines and appliances, many would think that push buttons are on their way out.

However, they are still incredibly important for industrial and engineering applications where precision and reliability are key. Internal electronic components introduce higher chances of failure. Mechanical buttons have high-quality and durable moving parts that guarantee that each push ensures effective contact.

There are several types of switch buttons

Two-Position Push Button Switches
The mechanism inside these devices allows them to remain in one position until pushed again. These are usually for on-off functions, but can also perform other actions depending on the application.

Momentary Push Button Switches
The user must keep the button pressed for it to close or open the circuit. These are used for machines that only require a momentary operation.

Industrial Push Button Switches
These devices usually have a longer lifespan and are more resistant to wear and tear. They are used in industrial settings where reliability is very important.

Latching Push Button Switches
These switches remain in the on or off position until they are manually reset. This type of switch is often used in security systems.

When reliability is key, or when you need high-quality products for automation, you better visit Major Electronix Corp. They focus on the distribution of board-level components in the industrial marketplace. Give them a call today at 800-966-2345 to get started.

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