Switches are an essential component in countless electrical devices. In the simplest terms, a switch is an electrical component that’s used to control a circuit by either completing or breaking the circuit. When the switch is turned on, the circuit is complete. When the switch is turned off, the circuit is broken.
There are different types of switches, however, one of which is a PCB switch. PCB switches have become a popular alternative to traditional switches in recent years. So, what is a PCB switch exactly, and what benefits does it offer over traditional switches?
PCB Switches Explained
A PCB switch is a type of electrical switch that’s characterized by the use of a printed circuit board. The term “PCB” even refers to “printed circuit board,” which is the primary feature driving this switch’s popularity. They are produced using a printed circuit board as the underlying circuitry powering the switch’s mechanism.
Different manufacturers design PCB switches in different ways. With that said, many PCB switches feature a layer of fabric that’s covered in copper. Known as the “copper-clad laminate later,” its conductive properties allow electricity to flow through it when the PCB switch is turned on and the circuit is complete.
Benefits of PCB Switches
While there are other types of electrical switches available, many businesses — and even some consumers for that matter — prefer PCB switches. For starters, PCB switches allow electricity to flow with less resistance. They are made of highly conductive materials, such as copper, to provide a lower level of electrical resistance.
If you’re looking to purchase a switch for outdoor use, you can’t go wrong with PCB. Unlike most other switches, PCB switches are able to withstand harsh and extreme environments, including the outdoors.
PCB switches support plating options as well. You can choose gold-plated PCB switches, for example, that feature a plated layer of gold.
PCB switches even support backlighting, allowing for a deeper level of customization. The most common backlighting solutions used in PCB switches include light-emitting diodes (LEDs), light guides, electroluminescent (EL) and fiber optics.
Furthermore, PCB switches support multiple soldiering methods, including hard soldering as well as epoxy-based soldiering.
Printed circuit boards have been around for decades. Recent technological advancements, however, has improved their design and overall performance. So, if you’re shopping for an electrical switch, consider a PCB switch to take advantage of the benefits listed above.