What are the current types of illuminated push button switches?

Explore the world of illuminated push button switches and their current requirements. Learn how the choice of illumination impacts the current ratings. Make informed decisions for your projects


Illuminated push button switches are essential components in various applications, providing not only control but also visual feedback through illumination. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the world of illuminated push button switches with a specific focus on their relationship with current ratings. Understanding the current requirements of these switches is crucial for selecting the right one for your project or application.

Illumination and Current

The illumination of push button switches, whether through incandescent bulbs or modern LEDs, directly impacts their current ratings. Let’s delve into this relationship:

1. Incandescent Illumination

Traditionally, illuminated push button switches used incandescent bulbs for illumination. These bulbs have specific current requirements that must be considered when selecting a switch. Typically, incandescent bulbs used in these switches draw higher currents, often in the range of 50mA to 150mA, depending on their wattage.


  • Industrial Control Panels: Incandescent illuminated switches are common in control panels, where their robust illumination is required.

2. LED Illumination

LEDs have become the illumination method of choice for modern illuminated push button switches. They offer several advantages, including energy efficiency and a longer lifespan. LED-illuminated switches come in various colors and configurations, and their current ratings are typically much lower than incandescent bulbs.


  • Consumer Electronics: LED-illuminated switches are widely used in consumer electronics due to their low power consumption and vibrant colors.
  • Automotive: These switches find applications in automotive interiors for various functions.

3. Current Ratings and Selection

When selecting an illuminated push button switch, it’s crucial to match its current rating with the electrical characteristics of your application. Exceeding the rated current can lead to premature switch failure or even safety hazards.

  • Voltage and Current Ratings: Ensure that the switch can handle the voltage and current levels of your application. For instance, if you’re designing a low-power circuit, an LED-illuminated switch with a lower current rating might be ideal.
  • LED Current Limiting Resistors: In LED-illuminated switches, there are often built-in current limiting resistors. These resistors ensure that the LED receives the correct current to operate optimally. When designing your circuit, consider the voltage supply and these built-in resistors.


Illuminated push button switches are versatile components that play a significant role in various applications. The choice between incandescent and LED illumination impacts the current requirements of these switches. Understanding this relationship is essential for selecting the right switch for your specific needs.

By matching the current rating of the switch with the electrical demands of your application, you can ensure reliable operation and the longevity of your illuminated push button switch.

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