Power switching

- Dec 10, 2018-

When a switch is designed to switch significant power, the transitional state of the switch as well as the ability to withstand continuous operating currents must be considered. When a switch is in the on state, its resistance is near zero and very little power is dropped in the contacts; when a switch is in the off state, its resistance is extremely high and even less power is dropped in the contacts. However, when the switch is flicked, the resistance must pass through a state where a quarter of the load's rated power[citation needed] (or worse if the load is not purely resistive) is briefly dropped in the switch.


For this reason, power switches intended to interrupt a load current have spring mechanisms to make sure the transition between on and off is as short as possible regardless of the speed at which the user moves the rocker.


Power switches usually come in two types. A momentary on‑off switch (such as on a laser pointer) usually takes the form of a button and only closes the circuit when the button is depressed. A regular on‑off switch (such as on a flashlight) has a constant on-off feature. Dual-action switches incorporate both of these features.