A rocker switch is one of the most common types of electrical switches used in industry today. It is an on-off switch that rocks back and forth like a see-saw.
Rocker switches can be single-pole or double-pole. This relates to the number of circuits that are controlled by the switch. The throw defines how many positions the switch's poles can be connected to. Common switch configurations are SPST, SPDT, DPST, and DPDT. You can learn more in our comprehensive rocker switches guide.
Momentary Rocker Switch
This type of switch requires a force (normally your finger) to press the switch actuator into the on position, the force must remain applied for the switch to work. As soon as the force is removed the rocker would return or spring back to its original state.
Momentary rocker switches will ALWAYS have brackets around the momentary position to help with identification.
This type of switch is momentary in both the left and right-hand positions. As soon as the applied force from either of its On positions is removed the rocker switch will spring back to the original centre-off position.
This type of switch is momentary in its left-hand position only. As soon as the applied force is removed the rocker switch would spring back to its original off position.
Latching Rocker Switch
When force is applied to the rocker switch actuator the switch will change state and 'latch' into place. The switch will remain latched until the force is again applied to the actuator, the switch will then un-latch and return to its normal state.
Latching switches DO NOT have brackets around any of their switch positions to help with identification
This type of switch is latching in both the left and right-hand positions. A force must be applied for either of the On positions for the rocker switch to operate. The same force must then be applied to be able to return the switch to its original centre-off position.
This type of switch is latching On in the left-hand position. The force must be applied for the switch to latch into place. The same force must be applied to be able to return the switch to its original right hand-off position.