Finding good "off the rack" pushbutton switches for homebuilt flashlights has been quite a problem. I'll bet I've spent at least twenty, if not forty or more hours looking through catalogs and surfing the net for ones that would be practical for use in flashlights. Found hundreds of momentary type switches, but no small Click ON / Click OFF ones; and toggle switches are common enough, but a bit less practical than pushbuttons for normal flashlight type purposes.
Well, I finally found some! (I did find some special military grade ones a year or so ago that would have been great, but at $40.00 each, cost well beyond my means!).
is a simple OFF / ON switch that is .475
inches (12.1mm) wide, .479 inches (12.14mm) high (not
counting the PCB leads which are .357 inch long and can, of course be
clipped off short.) They are .270 inch (6.88mm) thick (not
counting the .1 inch long actuating button which brings the overall
thickness to .370 inch)
Unfortunately, the switches aren't waterproof by themselves. I have an (untried) idea that the thickest type of "dental dam" sheet will work for waterproofing them without bothering with the expense and trouble of molding a rubber seal. Of course if you aren't worried about water, then they are fine as they are.
They are manufacturer rated at .3 Amp, but I ran one through 500 cycles with three Luxeon IIIs in parallel, drawing up to 1.5 amps, and there were no problems at all, so I rather imagine they will be just fine for just about any LED flashlight type use you are are likely to want them for.
#SW1212X3 is the same size as the switch above, but has even more potential, as it is a three conductor switch that cycles OFF - ON1 - OFF - ON2 . That will make it easy to add bright / dim control, or switch between two different LEDs or "light engines" or between a halogen bulb and LEDs ....or .... a bunch of other configurations. What a fortunate find!!!!
The center conductor on these switches is the
"common" connection. The outside leads are the 1 and 2
#SW15186: Somewhat larger, but slightly thinner, these switches are a simple Click ON / Click Off and are rated for a much higher current than those above: 2 Amps @ 14V... So they will easily handle 28 watts, and, I'd guess even more.
.608 inch (15.38mm) wide and .719 (18.13mm) high (not counting the leads, which are four inches long of fairly heavily insulated 18ga wire, .08 inches in diameter) Thickness of the switch body is .256 inch (6.51mm) not counting the actuator button which is .07 high, for a total thickness of .3335 inches.
An easy way to see if these will fit in your application is to stack three American nickels and if the nickel stack will fit, there is more than enough room for the switch.
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