Switches are the foundation on which nearly all electronic devices operate. Each switch operates an independent circuit, which opens or closes in response to a user’s command. Touching switch’s button, for example, will complete the circuit, whereas releasing your finger from the button — or re-pressing the button, depending on how it’s designed — will break the circuit. While all switches follow this same principle, piezo switches feature a unique design that offers several noteworthy benefits.

Overview of Piezo Switches

A piezo switch is a type of switch that leverages the piezoelectric effect to determine when its respective circuit or circuits should open and close. Most switches, of course, use a conventional design consisting of two conductive traces separated by air. Pressing the switch’s button causes the top conductive trace to press into the bottom conductive trace, thus completing the circuit. Piezo switches don’t use conductive traces. Rather, they are designed to detect input by converting physical sensations into an electrical charge.

Touching a piezo switch’s button will cause it to produce electricity. In response, the piezo switch will open or close the circuit. A phenomenon known as the piezoelectric effect, it allows piezo switches to detect input without the need for conductive traces, such as those found in traditional switches.

Benefits of Piezo Switches

Since piezo switches don’t have mechanical parts, they are extremely durable and able to withstand many years of usage. Some piezo switches, in fact, can last for millions of circuit cycles. Traditional switches have a much shorter lifespan because they contain mechanical parts. Activating a traditional switch forces its mechanical parts to move around, resulting in wear and tear. Piezo switches use the piezoelectric effect to identify input, so they don’t need or use mechanical parts.

When properly designed, piezo switches offer a sealed environment that prevents the intrusion of moisture, dust, dirt and debris. There’s no passage or opening through which these contaminates enter a piezo switch. The top of piezo switches is completely sealed so that they aren’t protected from environmental moisture, dust, dirt and debris.

In Conclusion

A piezo switch is a type of switch that uses the piezoelectric effect to determine when to open and close a circuit. They don’t have conductive traces, nor do they have any other mechanical or moving parts. Rather, piezo switches leverage the piezoelectric effect to open and close their circuits. This design makes them incredibly durable while also protected against environmental pollutants.