Rocker switches may establish electrical connections, disconnect them again or trigger switching impulses. Rocker switches operate on the all-or-nothing principle and, as the name suggests, use a rocker mechanism. Spring force enables the rocker to stay in a certain position or to return to its initial one. Rocker switches correspond to the definition of switch. Here, the operating element – the rocker – remains in the respective position. Rocker switches are technically closely related to other typical switches, such as variations of the toggle switch.
The rocker of the switch can be used to operate, among other things, a simple on/off switch or a toggle switch to which several rocker switches are connected. There are also designs with a fixed center position from which latching or tactile switching movements are possible in both directions. An example of this are so-called direction switches. Rocker switches are well known in everyday life, for example, through the classic light switch or also as power switches of cold appliances. All in all, they are used in the professional sector in almost all industries.
Two special forms of rocker switches are the rocker push button and the pushbutton switch. The rocker pushbutton is a pushbutton which is operated by a rocker mechanism. The rocker returns to its initial position after a defined period of time after actuation. This variation is used for large staircases, for example. With a pushbutton switch, on the other hand, the rocker returns to its initial position immediately after actuation.
Rocker switches are connected via flat plugs, solder terminals, on printed circuit boards by means of soldering pins or by means of snap-in receptacles as well as screw terminals. Many rocker switches also have standardized sizes and dimensions, which makes them easy to mount in standardized electrical installations. As a protection against external influences, models from the professional segment also meet the requirements of protection class IP67. As a result, rocker switches are reliably protected against dust and water.