How Does a Rocker Switch Work?

By Vee Enne

Switches are electrical components that are used to turn power on and off for various types of devices that operate by electricity. Switches accomplish this by breaking the electrical circuit to remove power, and reestablishing the circuit to restore power.

A rocker switch is a type of switch that breaks and connects the electrical circuit by "rocking" in one direction to break the circuit, and the other direction to connect the circuit. Rocker switches are extremely common and can be found in many types of devices, from video game players to medical instruments.

There are two main components of any type of rocker switch. The first component is an actuator, mounted on an axis that allows it to rotate back and forth. An actuator is the part of a switch that moves and applies force to the contacts to turn the switch on or off. The second component of the rocker switch is the set of contacts. The state of the contacts determines whether the switch is set to on or off.

A set of contacts can be either "closed" or "open." Closed contacts allow the flow of electricity, which means that the switch is turned on. Open contacts break the flow of electricity, which means that the switch is turned off. When a rocker switch is switched in the "on" direction, it pushes the contacts into a "closed" position. In the closed position, the contacts are touching, which allows electricity to flow between them. This allows power to flow into the device that is operated by the rocker switch. When the rocker switch is pushed into the off direction, it pulls the contacts into an open position. When the contacts are in an open position, they are not touching. This prevents electricity from flowing between them and removes power from the object that is operated by the rocker switch.