What Are Push Button Switches?

A push button is a simple type of switch that controls an action in a machine or some type of process. Most of the time, the buttons are plastic or metal. The shape of the push button may conform to fingers or hands for easy use, or they may simply be flat. It all depends on the individual design. The push button can be normally open or normally closed.

How Do Push Button Switches Work?

Push button switches have three parts. The actuator, stationary contacts, and the grooves. The actuator will go all the way through the switch and into a thin cylinder at the bottom. Inside is a movable contact and spring. When someone presses the button, it touches with the stationary contacts, causing the action to take place. In some cases, the user needs to keep holding the button, or to press it repeatedly, for an action to take place. With other push buttons, a latch connects and keeps the switch on until the user presses the button again.

What Are Push Button Switches Used For?

Push button switches are popular in a variety of different applications, including calculators, push button phones, and many home appliances. You can find them in the home, the office, and in industrial applications today. They can turn machines on and off, or cause the devices to perform specific actions, as is the case with calculators. In some cases, specifically for commercial and industrial usage, the buttons can connect through mechanical linkage, which means that pushing one button can actually cause another button to release.

In many cases, the buttons will have specific coloration to help denote their actions. This ensures that the chance of someone pushing the button by mistake is lower. Red will usually indicate stopping, while green generally indicates starting a machine. Emergency stop buttons, which tend to be large push buttons, are generally red, and they typically have larger heads for easier use.

What Types of Push Button Switches Are Available?

  • Door Interlock Push Button Switches – The door interlock push button switches are buttons mounted near doorways, such as you might find in some office building and commercial buildings, as well as on trams, trains, and places that have similar types of electronic doors. Pressing the button can cause the door to swing open.
  • Pendant Switches – The pendant switch features a push button, and is useful in a variety of different environments. Some of the most common applications for the pendant switch include controlling lights, causing an activation, such as taking a snapshot, home automation, push to talk, and call switches.
  • Push Button Switches – Many different types, styles, and sizes of push buttons are available today. They come In a variety of different colors as well, so users can assign different colors to different behaviors.

What Parts Are Available for Push Button Switches?

  • Push Button Adaptor Kits – The adaptor kits are available in a number of different styles, including round and square versions. The kits have everything needed to switch out and install on a system that did not previously have push button operation. One of the most common kits is an emergency stop switch. It is possible to retrofit them into various sizes holes.
  • Push Button Adaptors – A push button adaptor can fit into cutouts of various sizes in order to make it possible to add push buttons to the device. Some of the adaptors also have spaces for LED illumination, as well as different termination types. They are available in different sizes and styles, including top hat rail adaptors. It is important to check the thickness of the mounting panels in order to choose the right size adaptor.
  • Push Button Anti Rotation Rings – The push button anti rotation rings will help to prevent the buttons from starting to rotate after excessive usage. They will keep the contacts in place, so that the system can stay in good working order even with frequent use. They are a part of the actuator system, and they come in a number of different sizes to fit different switches.
  • Push Button Bezels – Push button bezels will help make mounting push button switches to boards easier. They are usually round. However, they are available in other designs and styles as well. Typically, they will attach with threads, so they are easy to add and took keep flush with the mount.
  • Push Button Boots – Push button boots are able to offer protection for the components that help the switch to work. They can also help to protect from a variety of different types of environmental hazards and contaminants, such as saltwater and sand. Most of the boots available are waterproof. However, it is important for users to know the limitations of the boots they choose. In many cases, they will come with mounting hardware. Again, always know what the buttons offer and provide before buying.
  • Push Button Bulb Holders – The holders are available in a variety of different sizes, and they hold the bulbs for lights activated by push buttons. They are typically small and are in applications that use modular switches. They come in different sizes and colors.
  • Push Button Caps – Push button caps are the part of the button that actually depresses during activation, although they are not usually the part that one touches. Most of the time, they have a push button book that covers the cap, although it could be another device covering it as well. Some of the caps offer tactile feedback, such as a click, so the user knows that he or she pressed the button completely. They are available in a number of different designs and styles, and it is possible to mount them on a variety of switchboard types.
  • Push Button Contact Blocks – The contact blocks are modular accessories for use with push buttons. These make it easy to simply pull out and replace the switch if there is ever an issue, such as a failing switch. They are very easy to use, and they are quite convenient.
  • Push Button Covers – Many times, users will not want anyone to push the button accidentally. They may have specific or critical functions, and they need to be protected from accidental pushing. Using push button covers is an ideal way to make sure they remain safe. The button covers are generally made from plastic or metal. In order to push the button, the operator needs to manually open the cover and then press the button. It gives them time to consider what they are doing and whether they actually need to press the button or not, thus preventing accidental presses.
  • Push Button End Barriers – In some cases, several push buttons might be near one another. To ensure the user does not accidentally activate the wrong switch, they use end barriers. These can add a barrier between the switches, so the possibility of an accidental button press is far less likely.
  • Push Button Flip Guards – The push button flip guards are yet another safety feature to help eliminate accidental presses of these switches. They have levers that cover the top of the switch. They are similar to the guards and covers, but they have spring-fastened levers. They are available in different styles and can help users with many different types of machines and applications.
  • Push Button Indicator Lenses – The indicator lenses will let the user know what state the button is in. The lenses are generally mounted on top of the push button. When pressed, they will emit a light, if they are illuminated types. They may be color coded instead, if they are not illuminated. Many different colors are available, and users can find options that will fit round and square switches.
  • Push Button Lamps – Lamps can also indicate what state the switch is in, as can the indicator lenses above. The most common use is to let the user know if the machine or device is on or off. They may have different colors to indicate different states of the machine as well, such as red for off, green for on, and yellow for standby. It depends on the lamp and the application.
  • Push Button LEDs – Push button LETS offer illumination for switches. They are energy efficient, so they will not draw too much power from the machine, making them a good solution for many types of applications. They are a common type of push button lamp. As with the lamps and indicators, they will show the user the state of the machine.
  • Push Button Lens Removers – As the name would suggest, these are tools that let the user remove lenses from a switch. They are specialized tools that make the removal of the lens fast, easy, and safe. It is never a good idea to attempt to remove a lens, or to work on any aspect of switches or electronics, without having the right equipment.
  • Push Button Lenses – A push button lens will attach to the top of a push button and provide both color-coding along with some additional protection. They might indicate the state of the machine based on the color. However, the different colors might also simply be a way for the user to determine the function of each of the buttons.
  • Push Button Nuts – Push button nuts are an important part of the assembly. They help to keep the switch firmly in place, and they can make adding and removing the button easier. In some cases, they help to set the height of the button. These are available in different sizes, and it is important for users to choose the nuts that are right for their buttons.
  • Push Button Panel Seals – The panel seals are another means of added protection for switches from many different types of contaminants. They can help to boost the brightness of lamps in use with the switch as well, if there are any. Many different styles and designs are readily available.
  • Push Button Shields – The shields are yet another safety device that some push buttons may need. They help to keep the button from being depressed by mistake. Some of the applications where these button shields can be very helpful is with alarms and emergency systems. They are similar to many of the other safety devices for buttons, including covers.
  • Push Button Sockets – A push button socket is an actual socket meant to hold and receive push buttons for modular systems.
  • Push Button Spacers – The spacers help to make sure that there is plenty of space between the push button switch and any other switches on the board. This helps to prevent accidental presses of the wrong button. Most of the time, they are simply rings that attach to the button to help ensure there is added space between the buttons.
  • Push Button Switchblocks – The device has push button switches, and all of the electrical connections to make them work properly. The modular parts are generally quite easy to add to a system already in existence.
  • Push Button Switching Elements – The switching elements are modular pieces that offer a fast and simple way to add push buttons to set up a specific type of push button systems. They come in different sizes, so it is possible to find elements that work with all types of push buttons.
  • Push Button Tool Kits – One of the handy items available is the push button tool kit. The kits have all of the different types of tools needed to create and maintain push button systems. Some of the kits are specialized and are for certain aspects of the system, such as installation or removal of lenses. However, it is also possible to find kits that include everything one needs to work on the push button system. It is important to choose the right kit for the job.