Toggle Switches

Toggle switches are among the most basic and most common of all electronic components, the switch moves contacts that either provide a path for current to flow through or moves those contacts in such a way that the path is cut. The toggle switches most people will be familiar with are light switches.

How Does a Toggle Switch Function?
Toggle switches may vary a bit in function from one to the next depending upon their configurations. However, the basics are the same.
When the actuator (the toggle itself) is moved, the armature in the switch moves the contact into position either energizing the circuit or de-energizing it. Once the switch is moved from one position to the other, it typically stays that way. There are also momentary switches, which energize or de-energize a circuit for as long as they are actuated and then go back to their normal state once the actuator is released. This is accomplished via a spring mechanism that exerts a force on the armature from the inside.

Contact Configuration of a Toggle Switch
  • A single pole single throw (SPST) switch is the simplest and most common type of toggle switch. These switches allow simple on and off operation for a single circuit. Most light switches are SPST switches.
  • Single pole double throw (SPDT) switches can be used to change where a voltage is directed. The double throw means that the switch can be used to energize two different circuits - one at a time - from a single source of energy.
  • Double pole single throw (DPST) switches allow an operation that is very similar to having two SPST switches hooked together in one device. The switch can turn two circuits on and off. These are very convenient when more than one device needs to be controlled with the same switch.
  • Double pole double throw (DPDT) switches allow two different circuits to be served by the same pole. These are used in applications where a circuit may need to have changing voltages applied to connected devices.

There are also switches with the designation CO, such as SPCO (single pole changeover) switches. These have an off position in the middle of the switch and can be used to energize or de-energize two different circuits attached to the device.

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Description Price Contact Configuration Switch Operation Contact Current Rating Mounting Type Terminal Type IP Rating Illuminated Panel Cut Out Width Panel Cut Out Height Panel Cut Out Diameter Actuator Length Actuator Material Voltage Rating Contact Resistance
RS Stock No. 394-471
BrandRS PRO
£7.53
Each
Units
SPDT Latching 3 A @ 120 V ac Panel Mount Solder - - - - - 16mm Brass - 20mΩ
RS Stock No. 450-2780
BrandRS PRO
£4.19
Each
Units
SPDT On-(On) 400 mA @ 20 V dc PCB Through Hole - - - - - 10.41mm Chrome Plated Brass - 20mΩ
RS Stock No. 820-0558
BrandRS PRO
£9.67
Each
Units
SPDT (On)-Off-(On) 5 A @ 250 V ac PCB Solder IP67 - - - - 18mm Brass - 10mΩ
RS Stock No. 734-6952
BrandRS PRO
£2.43
Each
Units
DPDT (On)-Off-(On) 5 A @ 250 V ac PCB Through Hole IP67 - - - - 7.62mm Chromium Plated Brass - 10mΩ
RS Stock No. 448-1065
BrandRS PRO
£3.66
Each
Units
SPDT On-(On) 3 A @ 28 V dc Panel Mount Solder - - - - - 9.4mm Brass 28V dc 20mΩ
RS Stock No. 734-7006
BrandRS PRO
£2.50
Each
Units
SPDT On-(On) 3 A @ 250 V ac Panel Mount Solder - - - - - 11.5mm Chromium Plated Brass - 10mΩ
RS Stock No. 820-0508
BrandRS PRO
£8.98
Each
Units
DPDT On-(On) 5 A @ 250 V ac PCB Solder IP67 - - - - 18mm Brass - 10mΩ
RS Stock No. 820-0523
BrandRS PRO
£9.59
Each
Units
DPDT On-On-On 5 A @ 250 V ac PCB Solder IP67 - - - - 18mm Brass - 10mΩ
RS Stock No. 448-1009
BrandRS PRO
£2.62
Each
Units
SPDT Latching 400 mA @ 20 V dc PCB Through Hole - - - - - 7.37mm Brass - 20mΩ
RS Stock No. 734-7028
BrandRS PRO
£2.12
Each
Units
DPDT Latching 5 A @ 250 V ac PCB Through Hole - - - - 6.35mm 5.08mm Chromium Plated Brass - 10mΩ
RS Stock No. 734-7110
BrandRS PRO
£1.90
Each
Units
SPDT Latching 2 A @ 250 V ac Panel Mount Solder - - - - 6.35mm 12.3mm Chromium Plated Brass - 10mΩ
RS Stock No. 734-7242
BrandRS PRO
£1.87
Each
Units
DPDT On-Off-(On) 400 mA @ 20 V dc PCB Through Hole IP67 - 4.5mm 7mm - 7mm Glass Fibre Reinforced Nylon - 100mΩ
RS Stock No. 401-674
BrandRS PRO
£2.38
Each
Units
SPDT On-Off-On 400 mA @ 20 V dc PCB Through Hole IP67 - - - - 6.1mm Brass - 20mΩ
RS Stock No. 450-2774A
BrandRS PRO
£2.955
Each (In a Pack of 25)
Units
SPDT Latching 400 mA @ 20 V PCB Through Hole - - - - - 10.41mm Chrome Plated Brass - 20mΩ
RS Stock No. 394-443
BrandRS PRO
£4.60
Each
Units
SPDT On-Off-On 3 A @ 120 V ac Panel Mount Solder - - - - - 16mm Brass - 20mΩ
RS Stock No. 450-2774
BrandRS PRO
£4.15
Each
Units
SPDT Latching 400 mA @ 20 V dc PCB Through Hole - - - - - 10.41mm Chrome Plated Brass - 20mΩ
RS Stock No. 734-7104
BrandRS PRO
£1.49
Each
Units
SPDT Latching 5 A @ 250 V ac PCB Through Hole - - - - 6.35mm 5.08mm Chromium Plated Brass - 10mΩ
RS Stock No. 734-7198
BrandRS PRO
£1.81
Each
Units
DPDT Latching 3 A @ 120 V ac PCB Through Hole - - - - 4.95mm 7.37mm Chromium Plated Brass - 20mΩ
RS Stock No. 734-7072
BrandRS PRO
£2.04
Each
Units
SPDT Latching 5 A @ 250 V ac PCB Through Hole - - - - 6.35mm 10.41mm Chromium Plated Brass - 10mΩ
RS Stock No. 394-425
BrandRS PRO
£2.20
Each
Units
DPDT On-Off-On 5 A @ 250 V ac Panel Mount Solder - - - - - 12.3mm Brass - 10mΩ
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