We are Apogeeweb Semiconductor Electronic


Home arrow Power Supplies arrow What is a Toggle Switch?

arrow left

arrow right

What is a Toggle Switch?

Author: Apogeeweb
Date: 13 May 2022
toggle switch panel


Ⅰ Introduction

Ⅱ What is a Toggle Switch?

Ⅲ Structure of a Toggle Switch

3.1 Lever

3.2 Spring

3.3 O-ring

3.4 Plunger

3.5 Moving Armature

3.6 Case

3.7 Base

Ⅳ Types of Toggle Switches

4.1 SPST (Single Pole Single Throw) Toggle Switches

4.2 SPDT (Single Pole Double Throw) Toggle Switches

4.3 DPST (Double Pole Single Throw) Toggle Switches

4.4 DPDT (Double Pole Double Throw) Toggle Switches

Ⅴ Toggle Switch Accessories

5.1 Switch Guards

5.2 Rubber Boot

Ⅵ Applications of Toggle Switches

Ⅶ How to Wire a Toggle Switch

Ⅷ How to Install a Toggle Switch

8.1 Installing a Switch in Your Device's Panel

8.2 Connecting Your Toggle Switch to Your Device's Wiring

Ⅸ Precautions for the Use of the Toggle Switch

Ⅹ Frequently Asked Questions About Toggle Switches


Ⅰ Introduction

You may not understand what toggle switches are or how they function, but I'm sure you've seen them. Even if you've never seen one in person, you've probably seen old war movies. Consider an image of an ancient airplane cockpit or perhaps an old vehicle dashboard. Toggle switches are the small shiny levers that pilots or drivers use to turn on and off.



A toggle switch is an electromechanical device that flips a lever back and forth to turn on and off a circuit or switch between numerous circuits.


This article will show the datails of toggle switches to help you learn more about them.


What is a Toggle Switch?

The toggle switch is a type of electrical switch distinguished by the presence of a handle or lever that allows the flow of electrical power from a power supply to a device of some kind  to be controlled. An electrical toggle switch can be utilized in a variety of applications, both commercial and residential. Switches of this sort are very straightforward to use and can endure for many years before needing to be replaced.


A toggle switch has become a catch-all name for almost any sort of electrical control that uses a handle, lever, or other type of rocking mechanism to manage the flow of electrical current. Some switches, particularly industrial toggles, are quite massive and are built with a metal lever with a handle situated in the centre of the lever. These industrial designs frequently require a tremendous deal of effort to move from one position to another for safety concerns, and may be supplied with locks or timed mechanisms as part of the safety precautions. Other types of switches of this type include little devices that can be controlled with a finger.


One of the more popular types of toggles found today is in the home. The toggle light switch is a device that controls the passage of power from the home's main wiring to the wiring of an appliance or fixture. This sort of toggle is typically installed in the wall and covered with a basic switch cover that exposes the lever. It is possible to turn on overhead lights or give electricity to outlets wired directly to the switch by sliding the toggle up and down. In some home designs, a toggle switch right inside the front door controls plugs in the adjacent room, allowing you to easily turn on lamps plugged into those outlets and flood the space with light upon entering the space.


While push buttons and virtual keypads are becoming more popular in homes and some commercial and corporate settings, toggle switches remain the most popular choice for directing the flow of power from a source to a device. The switch's simplicity ensures that the possibilities of it breaking down or malfunctioning are low, making it an appealing alternative. Even if the switch finally wears out, the procedure of replacing a toggle switch may usually be completed in minutes and with very little effort.


Structure of a Toggle Switch

This is an example of an ultra subminiature toggle switch with ingress protection that meets the IEC 60529 standard's IP64 standards.

It is made up of a lever, a spring, O-rings, a plunger, a moving armature, a case, and a base.


Structure of a Toggle Switch


3.1 Lever

The user can toggle between ON and OFF by pressing the lever in the working direction.


Levers are often composed of plastic, however on larger devices, some are constructed of metal to boost longevity.


3.2 Spring

The spring is contained within the lever.


It pushes the lever outwards and is always in touch with the base.


3.3 O-ring

These are circular rubber components that protect the moving parts in the case and lever from foreign items by sealing the connections between the base and the case.


3.4 Plunger

The plunger is a resin component attached to the bottom of the lever that is designed to be in constant contact with the bottom of the base to limit the lever's movement range.


3.5 Moving Armature

U-shaped contact is incorporated in the lever.


The tip of the U-shape contact travels with the lever, and the terminal is placed between the tips to activate the switch mechanism's ON state.


This makes extraneous things difficult to come between the contacts.


3.6 Case

The case protects the switch's internal components.


It also supports the lever through the upper surface hole.


3.7 Base

The base, together with the casing, are used to safeguard the switch's internal components.


The switch terminals extend from the bottom of the base.


Types of Toggle Switches

When choosing a toggle switch, like with any other electrical component, it is critical to evaluate the characteristics of your circuit. Toggle switches are available in a number of voltages, amperages, and power ratings, and are made from a variety of materials.


Aside from rating, toggle switches are classified mostly depending on their operating designs.


They are classified based on the number of unique positions into which the levers can be switched. A 2-position toggle switch is the most basic kind. This is frequently toggled on and off.


Toggle switches are also commonly encountered in three-position configurations. This is where the ease of use ends.


There are 4-position, 5-position, and 6-position circuits available, and you can order as many as you need. These multiple position toggle switches, on the other hand, are made for specific applications and are more difficult to find.


However, the most common way to categorize toggle switches is by the number of poles and throws.


The number of independent circuits that the switch may manage at the same time is referred to as its pole.


The number of various outputs that each switch may link its input to is referred to as its throw.


Toggle switches are categorised as SPST, SPDT, DPST, DPDT, and unique switches that are not classified under the four popular classifications.


4.1 SPST (Single Pole Single Throw) Toggle Switches






SPST toggle switches control a single circuit. It has two operational modes: ON and OFF. By switching between these two locations, the connection between the conductors linked to its two terminals is either closed or opened.


4.2 SPDT (Single Pole Double Throw) Toggle Switches



Single pole double throw toggle switches come in two varieties. They are the two-position ON/ON variation and the three-position ON/OFF/ON variant.








This is a three-terminal switch that regulates only one circuit. The input is connected to the middle terminal, known as the common. The output is represented by the two outer terminals, which are commonly referred to as A and B. The switch lever has two locations, allowing the input to be connected to either terminal A or B.





SPDT On-Off-On

SPDT On-Off-On


This is another three-terminal switch that regulates a single circuit. The input, like SPDT ON/OFF, is connected to the common. The main difference with this switch is that the lever has three positions. The circuit is switched between terminals A and B by the end positions. The center position, on the other hand, is an off position. This indicates it does not link the input terminal to either of the output terminals.


4.3 DPST (Double Pole Single Throw) Toggle Switches






This is two SPST switches joined together and controlled by the same lever. This switch has four terminals, two inputs and two outputs. They function as ON/OFF switches.


DPST switches are commonly used with 220V equipment to open and close both 110V lines simultaneously.


4.4 DPDT (Double Pole Double Throw) Toggle Switches



DPDT toggle switches are classified into three categories. There are two ON/ON positions, as well as three ON/OFF/ON and ON/ON/ON positions.








This is made up of two SPDT ON/OFF switches that are linked together and controlled by a single lever. It is a six-terminal switch with two independent circuits. The input or common terminals are linked to both A and B terminals at the same time. On the lever, there are only two places.





DPDT On-Off-On

DPDT On-Off-On


This switch has six terminals and controls two distinct circuits. The lever, on the other hand, has three positions. The inputs are connected to both A and B terminals via the two end locations. However, the middle position does not link the input to any of the output terminals, resulting in an open or off circuit.







This one is a little more difficult. It is also a three-position switch, with the input going to the center terminals. The lever's two end locations link the input to either both A or both B terminals at the same time. The middle position is what distinguishes this switch. When the lever is centered, one of the inputs is linked to its corresponding A terminal and the other to its corresponding B terminal. As it goes to the middle position, the switch only moves one circuit at a time.


There are two types that are utilized to distinguish which side switches over first. These switches are most frequently found on electric guitars.


Toggle Switch Accessories

If further accessories are required for your project, our toggle switches are available.


5.1 Switch Guards

Switch guards


Toggle switch guards are primarily used to safeguard the switch and prevent it from being accidentally switched off or on. The toggle is protected from inadvertent movement by the solid shell.


5.2 Rubber Boot

Rubber Boot


To protect against dust and moisture, a toggle switch rubber boot is employed. The boot completely encloses the base, resulting in a dust-tight seal.


Applications of Toggle Switches

  • Telecommunications and Networking Equipment (Wireless Network Cards, Handheld Devices, Reset Switches)
  • Instrumentation (Shut-Off Switches, Controllers)
  • Industrial Controls (Grips, Joysticks, Power Supplies)
  • Test and Measurement Equipment
  • Elevator Controls
  • Food Processing Equipment
  • Boat and Marine Control Panels
  • Military Applications (Communication Switches)
  • Medical Equipment (Wheelchair Motor Switch)
  • Off-Highway and Construction Equipment
  • Security Systems and Metal Detectors


How to Wire a Toggle Switch


Step 1

Using a test light, locate a fused line as close to the intended location for the toggle switch as practicable.


Step 2

Install the toggle switch. You can utilize a switch panel for this or drill a hole through which the switch will be mounted. Check your switch; this hole should be 1/2 inch in most cases, but some switches require a larger opening.


Step 3

Connect a wire from the fused source to the toggle switch's center terminal. Insulated solderless connectors should be used to connect to the switch.


How to Wire a Toggle Switch

How to Wire a Toggle Switch


Connect another wire from the switch's second terminal to the device being controlled by the switch. There is no need to run a second wire for ground because vehicles and trucks use the body as the ground side of the circuit.


How to Install a Toggle Switch

8.1 Installing a Switch in Your Device's Panel

Step 1: Before you begin, turn off all power to the device. Before beginning work on your equipment, as with practically all sorts of electrical repair, make sure there is no risk of electric shock. Attempting to change a "live" device is a sure way to injure yourself or produce a short circuit that will permanently ruin your device.


*The exact method for detaching your device from its power supply varies based on the device. Disconnect the negative terminal of the battery, for example, in a car, whilst other gadgets may require you to unplug or physically disconnect the power source in some other method.


Step 2: Remove the device's panel or casing. To install a toggle switch on a device, you must first obtain access to the item's internal wiring, which normally necessitates the removal of the device's outside paneling or enclosure. Instead of removing the paneling from the entire object, try to remove it solely from the section of the gadget where you plan to place the switch.


*For example, if you're putting a toggle switch in your car, you should remove a tiny section of the dash paneling where you wish to install the switch rather than the full dash panel.


*Screwdrivers, pry bars, "panel poppers," and other specialist tools may be required.


Step 3: The diameter of the switch bushing that will protrude through the panel should be measured. To make room for your toggle switch, you'll normally need to cut a hole in the paneling or casing of your item. Measure the dimensions of the switch bushing (the part of the switch where the "lever" is situated) to determine the size of your hole.


*A round hole is typically used for simple toggle switches, however depending on the type of switch, other shapes may be required.


Step 4: To fit your hole, drill or cut a hole in the panel. Next, drill a hole in your device's paneling to accommodate your switch. This means drilling with a bit slightly larger than the diameter of the switch bushing for the most basic toggle switches with circular bushings. You may need to use a jigsaw, sandpaper, and/or other equipment to create different-shaped holes.


*To drill into wood, plastic, or mild steel, use an HSS (high-speed steel) twist drill bit. If you are drilling through wood, you can also use a spade bit.


Step 5: Install the switch from the panel's underside. Finally, insert your switch into the hole you have made for it from the underside. With its mount, secure the toggle switch in place. This normally entails placing the mount over the hole, inserting the toggle switch, and securing it with a nut.


*In a basic toggle switch configuration, for example, you may need to thread a jam nut onto the switch's bushing to secure it to the panel mount, then tighten the nut with an adjustable wrench.


8.2 Connecting Your Toggle Switch to Your Device's Wiring

Step 1: Follow the instructions that came with your switch or device. The electrical setups of the devices on which you would want to put a toggle switch will vary substantially. As a result, no single guide is likely to offer a one-size-fits-all solution. The instructions in this section are intended to serve as general guidelines for constructing a simple on-off ((single pole, single throw or SPST) toggle switch. They should never take precedence over any instructions contained with your toggle switch or the device into which it is being installed.


*To save time and avoid unintended damage, call a trained electrician when in doubt.


Step 2: Remove the power supply line from your gadget. You must connect your toggle switch to the device's power supply in order for it to act as an on/off switch. Use wire cutters to cut the supply wire of your device at a spot that allows you to route either or both ends of the wire to the switch. Using a wire stripper, remove roughly 12 inch (1.3 cm) of insulation from each end of the wire.


Step 3: If neither end of the cable reaches the switch, use a pigtail. A pigtail is a short length of wire with both ends stripped (typically approximately 6 inches (15 cm)). As a sort of "extender," it can be linked to cables that aren't quite long enough to reach your toggle switch. Add a pigtail like this:


*Find a wire of the same color and gauge as the present wire.


*Cut a length of wire long enough to reach from the supply wire's cut end to the toggle switch.


*Remove 12 inch (1.3 cm) of insulation from either end of this wire.


*Connect one end of the pigtail wire to the supply wire by twisting the wire ends clockwise together. Twist a wire nut of the appropriate size clockwise over the wire joint until it is snug.


Step 4: Connect the power supply to the toggle switch. You've built a break in the device's supply line at this point, so you'll need to install your toggle switch in the middle of the break to regulate the flow of energy through the circuit. The method you use is determined by the sort of toggle switch you have. Please see the following:


*If your toggle switch includes wire leads, twist the end of each lead to one of the supply wires (or pigtail extensions) and tighten each wire connection with a wire nut.


*If your toggle switch has screw terminals, unscrew the terminal screws, loop the supply wire ends, and hook each loop over a terminal screw so that the loops point clockwise around the shaft of each terminal screw. The terminal screws should then be tightened.


*If the toggle switch is soldered, wrap the wire ends around the switch terminals. Needle-nose pliers could come in handy. While holding the end of the solder wire in contact with the terminal, heat each terminal with a soldering iron (but not in direct contact with the soldering iron tip). Withdraw the soldering iron tip when the solder begins to melt, allowing the melting solder to flow and cover the wire-terminal connection.


Step 5: Check your switch. When your toggle switch is properly wired, carefully reconnect the device's power supply and test the toggle switch's functionality. If everything functions as it should, you can replace the panel or device housing. Congratulations! You have now installed a toggle switch.


Precautions for the Use of the Toggle Switch

1. If a load is supplied to the toggle switch terminals while soldering, there may be loosening, distortion, and deterioration of electrical properties due to various situations. Please use it with caution.


2. Because the effects of thermal stress alter when utilizing through-hole printed circuit boards and non-recommended circuit boards, please thoroughly confirm the soldering circumstances ahead of time.


3. Welding twice should be done when the first welding part has returned to normal temperature. Continuous heating can deform the perimeter, loosen terminals, cause them to fall off, and degrade electrical properties.


4. It is vital to confirm the actual mass production conditions while setting welding conditions.


5. The product is developed and manufactured with a DC resistance load in mind. Please confirm individually when employing different loads [inductive load, capacitive load].


6. Please refer to the suggested dimensions indicated in the product drawing for the mounting holes and patterns of the printed circuit board.


7. The switch should be utilized in structures where the switch is operated directly by humans. It should not be used for mechanical detection.


8. When operating the toggle switch, if a load more than the specified amount is applied, the switch may be damaged. Take cautious not to apply more force to the switch than is specified.


9. Please refrain from touching the operational portion from the side.


10. For the flat shaft rod type, press the switch center as hard as possible. Please keep in mind that the pressing location of the shaft will move when the hinge structure is pressed.


11. After installing the switch, please consult a professional when going through the regenerative hardening furnace due to the hardening of other components' adhesive.


12. If corrosive gas is formed from the surrounding materials of the entire machine when using the switch, it may cause problems such as poor contact, so please confirm thoroughly in advance.


13. The carbon contact point has the property that the contact resistance changes as the pressing load changes. Please utilize it after adequate confirmation when employed in a voltage divider circuit, for example.


14. Be aware of the infiltration of alien stuff in models other than the contained type.


Ⅹ Frequently Asked Questions About Toggle Switches

1. Is a toggle switch an analogue or digital?

A toggle switch is an analog device that cannot generate digital signals. When used as an input with a device such as a microcontroller, it can generate digital signals that the microcontroller can interpret as 1's and 0's.


2. Where would you use a toggle switch?

Toggle switches are ideal for modifying the state of system functionalities and preferences. To allow users to choose between two opposed states, toggles can substitute two radio buttons or a single checkbox. It can be difficult to decide which user interface element to employ — radio buttons, checkboxes, or toggles — at times.


3. What is toggle switch used for?

The toggle switch is a type of electrical switch distinguished by the presence of a handle or lever that allows the flow of electric current/signal from a power supply to a device or within a device to be controlled. It is a hinged switch that may be set to one of two states: ON or OFF.


4. How do you wire a push button toggle switch?

Toggle Switch

(1)Drill a hole in the desired area for the switch.

(2)Push the switch wire into the hole and connect it to the vehicle's power supply wire with a terminal connector.

(3)Using the nut that came with the switch, secure the switch to the hole.


5. How do you start a car with a toggle switch?

To begin, crank the ignition key to unlock the steering wheel and the transmission gear shift lock. To start the engine, press the ignition switch. If the starter switch is not spring-loaded, it should be turned off as soon as the engine begins, or the starter will remain engaged.


6. How do you wire a SPST to a toggle switch?

(1)Begin by crimping the wire terminals on the wire run you'll be using for the circuit.

(2)After that, connect the power wire to the switch's center terminal.

(3)After that, connect the wires for your accessory to the top terminal on your switch.


7. What does a toggle light switch look like?

The typical toggle switch fits into a small rectangular space in wall plates; switches flick up and down to turn on and off lights. Although most of us are familiar with basic toggle switches, there are a few different types of toggle switches available for toggle switch plates and other plate apertures.


8. What is the difference between button and a toggle switch?

Designers frequently confuse toggle switches with toggle buttons because they both control states, but there is a significant distinction. Toggle switches represent system states, while toggle buttons represent contextual states. A switch is a "button" that activates the condition.


9. What is a toggle switch in a circuit?

Toggle switches are a form of electronic switch, and they are one of the most fundamental and commonly used electrical components. Electronic switches enable binary on-off control for electrical circuits by halting or resuming current flow. Toggle switches are actuators, which turn a machine on or off.


10. Is a toggle a button?

A toggle button allows the user to switch between two states of a setting. Android 4.0 (API level 14) features a new type of toggle button called a switch, which has a slider control and can be added with a Switch object.


11. Can you use a toggle switch as a light switch?

The typical toggle switch fits into a small rectangular space in wall plates; switches flick up and down to turn on and off lights. Available in 15A and 20A models, as well as single pole, 3-way, and 4-way configurations. Purchase toggle switches or toggle light switch covers.


12. What is momentary toggle switch?

The Greengate Lighting Control Panels feature the Momentary Toggle Switch, which is a low voltage contact closure switch. When toggled up or down, the switch sends a "On" signal to the lighting control panel for a brief period of time and has a center "Off" position.


Best Sales of diode

Photo Part Company Description Pricing (USD)

Alternative Models

Part Compare Manufacturers Category Description

Ordering & Quality

Image Mfr. Part # Company Description Package PDF Qty Pricing (USD)

Related Articles


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

code image
Rating: poor fair good very good excellent

# 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z