Are you looking to buy an electrical switch? It’s not uncommon for product manufacturers to purchase and use electrical switches. This otherwise simple electrical component is found in a wide range of products, some of which include microwaves, smartphones, air conditioners, remote controls, human machine interfaces (HMIs), GPS systems, calculators and more. But instead of buying a traditional electrical switch, you should consider buying a membrane switch.

Membrane switches work just like a regular electrical switch by turning on and off a circuit. Unlike traditional switches, though, membrane switches are designed on a flexible substrate, with the actual switch being made of conductive PET or ITO. So, why should you should a membrane switch instead of a traditional switch? Here are three big benefits offered by membrane switches.

#1) Low Profile

Membrane switches have a low profile, meaning they are thinner and, in many cases, sit “flush” with the respective product in which they are installed. This alone is reason enough for many manufacturers to choose membrane switches over traditional switches. The low profile of a membrane switch allows manufacturers to include it in small, handheld products where traditional switches wouldn’t be possible.

#2) Water and Dust Resistant

Membrane switches are also resistant to water, dust, debris and other contaminants. When contaminants breach an electrical switch, it can quickly degrade the switch’s function, potentially even preventing it from working. The flexible substrate on which a membrane switch is installed, however, protects against this type of degradation. Membrane switches are able to withstand moisture and contaminants, thereby offering a greater level of utility. They can be used indoors and outdoors without fear of contaminants breaching the membrane switch and hindering its performance.

#3) Easier to Clean

Finally, membrane switches are easier to clean than traditional switches. Of course, this is because of the other two benefits already mentioned. The low profile and water/dust-resistant design of membrane switches simplifies the process of cleaning them. Users can simply wipe the membrane switch with a lint-free microfiber cloth to remove any lingering dirt. As a result, they are often preferred in high-traffic and high-use applications.

From its low profile design and water/dust-resistant properties, there are many reasons to choose a membrane switch over a traditional switch. Furthermore, membrane switches support a variety of backlighting solutions, the most common of which include light-emitting diode (LED), optical fiber and electroluminescent (EL). All of these backlighting solutions are provide long-lasting illumination while consuming minimal energy in the process.