Switches are found in nearly all types of electrical devices. They are circuit-controlling components that either allow or prevent electricity from traveling through them. Switches can create a closed circuit, in which case electricity will be able to travel through them. Alternatively, switches can create an open circuit by interrupting the flow of electricity. While some electrical devices still use mechanical switches, though, many of them now feature capacitive switches.

What Are Capacitive Switches?

Capacitive switches are circuit-controlling components that operate via touch. Like all types of switches, they either allow or prevent electricity from traveling through them. Capacitive switches can create a closed circuit, or they can create an open circuit. You can change the circuit orientation of a capacitive switch by touching it.

Capacitive switches are designed to measure changes in capacitance. They don’t have moving parts. Mechanical switches, in comparison, have several moving parts. To change the circuit orientation of a mechanical switch, you’ll have to physically press it so that the parts move.


Mechanical switches aren’t necessarily obsolete, but more and more manufacturers are transitioning to capacitive switches, instead. One of the reasons why capacitive switches are becoming so popular is because they are long-lasting.

You can use a capacitive switch for many years without fear of it failing prematurely. This is because capacitive switches lack the moving parts of their mechanical counterparts. Mechanical switches have moving parts, and each time you interact with a mechanical switch you’ll expose these parts to wear and tear. Capacitive switches are protected from premature wear and tear because they don’t contain any moving parts.

Ease of Use

Another reason capacitive switches have become a popular alternative to mechanical switches is their ease of use. They don’t require a lot of force or pressure to use. On the contrary, you can use a capacitive switch simply by placing your finger on the button or interface.

Capacitive switches fall under the category of touch switches. There are touch switches, and there are mechanical switches. Touch switches respond to touch, whereas mechanical switches respond to force or pressure.

Low Profile

Since they don’t contain moving parts, capacitive switches are available in low-profile designs. They don’t take up as much space as mechanical switches.

With their low-profile designs, capacitive switches can fit into small devices. Mechanical switches are typically larger. They are still found in many electronic devices, but they take up more space than capacitive switches.