Touch switches have become increasingly popular in recent years. Like all switches, they are devices that control a circuit. Touch switches, however, operate in response to touch. Touching them with a finger will change the orientation of the circuit. You can open or close the circuit by touching a touch switch. What are the different types of touch switches exactly?
One of the most common types of touch switches is capacitive. Capacitive touch switches work like capacitive touchscreens. They generate an electrical charge. When you touch a capacitive touch switch with a bare finger — or with any other conductive object, such as a capacitive stylus — the electrical charge will change. The capacitive touch switch will then open or close the circuit. You don’t need to press down using a lot of force. As long as your finger is pressed against a capacitive touch switch, it will change the orientation of the circuit.
There are resistive touch switches. Resistive touch switches feature a simple design consisting of two electrodes. When you touch a resistive touch switch, you’ll lower the resistance between these electrodes. The resistive touch switch will then open or close the circuit.
Resistive touch switches are simpler than their capacitive counterparts. Capacitive touch switches typically feature a single electrode that’s placed behind a panel made of glass or plastic. Resistive touch switches don’t require a glass or plastic panel. Instead, they are typically made of two electrodes, resulting in a simpler design.
In addition to capacitive and resistive, there are piezo touch switches. Piezo is a relatively new type of touch switch technology. While not as common as capacitive or resistive, it’s a viable alternative. Piezo touch switches receive their namesake from their use of a piezoelectric element. The piezoelectric element will convert the mechanical energy of touch into electrical energy.
When you touch a piezo touch switch, you’ll expose it to mechanical energy. This mechanical energy will then trigger the circuit. The piezoelectric element will convert the mechanical energy into electrical energy, which the piezo switch will use to open or close the circuit.
Different types of touch switches use different technologies to open and close the circuits. There are three primary types of touch switches, each of which features its own technology. Capacitive touch switches use capacitive technology to open and close the circuit. Resistive touch switches use resistive technology to open and close the circuit. Finally, piezo touch switches use piezo or piezoelectric technology to open and close the circuit.