Reed switches use an applied magnetic field to open or close a circuit. The reed switch is composed of a pair of electrical contacts placed on a magnetic metal reed, encased in hermetically sealed gas. When a magnetic field is applied, either through a magnet or a coil, the switch will flip to open or close the circuit. These versatile switches can work in either AC or DC voltage circuits.
Reed switches have several benefits that make them a preferred choice for many applications. Because reed switches don’t require any actual power to operate, they’re ideal for low-power applications. And since their contacts are sealed, reed switches are more resistant to environmental impacts – such as weather, moisture, or temperature – allowing them to be used almost anywhere. Reed switches also change over to other power-saving methods faster when power consumption is high.
In addition, reed switches are extremely precise when it comes to detecting the magnetic field in order to activate the switch. Reed switches can even be customized to better fit the unique properties of different devices and equipment.
Because of their numerous benefits, reed switches are used in many different applications––particularly in battery-powered devices. Reed switches are found in common electronics – such as flip cell phones and laptops – to detect whether they are open or closed, as well as e-readers to turn on/off when covered by their case. Reed switches are also used in automatic doors and security devices.
Appliances use reed switches as well, including refrigerators (to turn the inside light on/off when the door is open/closed) and in dishwashers and washing machines (to close valves once when water reaches assigned levels during filling). Reed switches also find use in medical devices, including pace makers and defibrillators. Factory automation applications use reed switches to detect limits on things like conveyor belts and pistons in cylinders.
To learn more about our Reed switches and their applications, contact us.