Getting Acquainted With the Different Types of Tilt Switches

Knowing the different types of switches is a welcome addition to your expanding knowledge of electronics. Tilt switches are devices that accept a signal from tilt sensors. A tilt sensor is in charge of responding to environmental inputs like pressure, temperature, light, heat, and motion. These tilt sensors will then send a signal to the tilt switch. The changes in the input will enable the tilt switch to turn off or on.

Buyers should be aware of the product specifications when choosing tilt switches. Specifications are the tilt angle range, number of axes, bandwidth, and accuracy. Tilt angle range refers to the scope of straight output measured in degrees. The number of axes means the direction of the tilt. Bandwidth, on the other hand, is used to measure fluctuations in acceleration. Accuracy specifies the range of frequency.

tilt switches from Select Control

Tilt switches are composed of two electrical contacts and a conductor to activate. There are many types of tilt switches from Select Control available. You just need to know where you will use it. To give you an idea, here is the list of different types of tilt switches:

Mercury switches

As the name suggests, mercury switches use a drop of mercury in the sensor. The mercury inside the sensor will roll in the tube moving both the contacts thereby closing the switch. Mercury switches are low cost and easy to use but with regards to the environment, it is not safe because of its toxicity levels.

Force balance sensors

This kind of sensor uses the force of gravity to determine the movement. Force balance sensors utilize a suspended pendulous mass. If this mass ties to move, the position will be detected thereby prompting a change of current.

Ball-in cage switches

Ball-in cage switch uses a metal ball that is placed in a housing unit. When the housing is moved, the ball will turn off the switch. To determine the direction of the tilt, multiple contacts should be added.

Electrolytic tilt sensors

Electrolytic tilt sensors are often used because of its accurate rill measurements as well as pitch. This tilt sensor uses glass cavity filled with fluid that is electrically conductive. The sensor


Accelerometers are devices used for analyzing, measuring and displaying the vibration and acceleration. This device can be employed as tilt sensors but the resolution is partial plus they gave higher consumption of power. When the sensor is moved, there is a disparity created between the electrodes. The disparity is proportionate to the rotational angle.

In terms of the display types, it can be an analog meter, video displays, and digital numerical displays. Display types refer to how the users will interact with the device. Analog meters refer to the traditional way of marking orientation. Video displays are automated display that records the tilt sensor readings. Digital numerical displays, on the other hand, employ LCDs to display different settings like the angle, current, and voltage.

You also need to know that tilt switches come in different electrical outputs like the analog current, alarm signals, digital transistor-transistor logic and analog pulse. Tilt switches are commonly incorporated in devices like video game controllers, cameras, automobile security systems, video cameras, robots, thermostats, aircraft flight controls and many more.