I'm looking for a push button switch that when you press it, it is open and then when you press it again, it is closed. I believe this is called an "alternate action" push button switch. Is this different than a "latching" push button switch?

Also, are there alternate action push button switches that have a "hold" feature? That is, you press the button for X seconds and it closes, then you press it again for X seconds and it opens. What is the terminology for that type of switch? I've searched numerous websites but haven't been able to locate one, so I'm wondering if I'm using the wrong terminology.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Unfortunately, recommendations for specific products are off-topic on this site. \$\endgroup\$
    – tcrosley
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 19:43
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @tcrosley I am aware of that. I did not ask for a recommendation, I asked for terminology clarification. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eric
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 19:52
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Can we please stop being so freaking narrow minded? This is in no way a shopping question ffs \$\endgroup\$
    – Passerby
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 21:38

1 Answer 1


I would call it "Alternate Action" if the button returns to the same position each time you remove your finger, but the switch position changes on each press.

With a latching button, I'd expect the button to stay partly depressed with the switch in one position, and fully out with the switch in the other position.

I don't think I've ever seen a switch with the delay function you describe. That sort of thing would normally be done with the aid of a microcontroller or time delay circuit.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks. I'm beginning to feel like the push button switch with a delay is not a product that is offered as a standard switch. I will start researching time delay circuits and figuring out if that is what I need. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eric
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 20:21

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