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Home > Industry Information > What is a Capacitive Switch and How Does it Work?

What is a Capacitive Switch and How Does it Work?

2020-07-14

A capacitive switch is a type of touch-controlled electrical switch that operates by measuring change in capacitance. It works in the same manner as a typical capacitive smartphone: when you touch the button, a small electrical charge will be transferred from your body to the switch, which subsequently causes a change in capacitance. The switch detects this change, responding with the appropriate command.

Upon touching a capacitive switch, this electrical charge disturbs the switch’s own electrical charge; thus, causing a change in capacitance. Because of this change, the switch can identify when and where the touch occurred, which is essentially how touch switches work.


What makes capacitive switches preferred over other switches? At first, there are no mechanical components in a capacitive switch, resulting in a longer lifespan when compared to their mechanical counterpart. Additionally, capacitive switches can withstand some of the harshest environments, including outdoor environments. If the intrusion of dirt, dust or moisture is a concern, capacitive is probably the best option for an electrical switch.

Capacitive switches is that they require direct contact with a conductive object to operate. This is why using a stylus typically won’t work (unless it’s a capacitive stylus).


Capacitive switches can also be used in a wide range of applications, including vending machines, smartphones, tablets, human machine interfaces, industrial controls, appliances, infotainment centers and more. Furthermore, they support integration of other features likeLED and backlights.


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