I have very limited knowledge of electric theory and circuitry, as I was a Computer Science major and only dabbled in it as a hobby, but I'm working on a Halloween prop and haven't done anything with electronics in a while and need some advice on one of the components in the circuit.

What I'm designing is a Skull Staff that will have LEDs in the eye sockets, and I want to have a toggle switch on the staff to turn them on and off.

So far, I figured I would use a 9V battery and have two green LEDs in series. I was going to use 330 ohms of resistance, but I only have 220-ohm and 150-ohm resistors, so I figured I would use those in series to get 370 ohms.

I've been looking on Amazon (not the best source, but I have Prime, so free 2-day shipping) for toggle switches I could use, but most switches I see are rated 125 V / 6 A, or 12/24 V and 30 A.

Can a lower voltage power source be used on a component rated at a higher voltage and amperage?

Also, can anyone recommend a specific toggle switch I could use? Preferably small. I need to embed it in a PVC pipe that's 1" in diameter.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I made a small comment about AC vs DC rating here. But you are talking about such a low current and voltage that it would be very difficult to find a switch that would not work in your application. The ratings are to help those worried about the worst case situation. Your situation is not worrying, at all. A 9 V battery can be handled by most mechanical switches (I'd say all but then someone would naturally find a case where I was wrong.) \$\endgroup\$ – jonk Sep 25 '18 at 2:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you want your switch to be constantly on, once switched? Or do you prefer a momentary switch that turns things back off when you let go of it? (You said this is a staff, so I'm imagining that it is being held by someone.) \$\endgroup\$ – jonk Sep 25 '18 at 2:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @jonk I want it to be a toggle switch so I can leave it on as I walk around. \$\endgroup\$ – Darin Beaudreau Sep 25 '18 at 2:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ The toggle switch to use, then, is more a matter of your own personal taste. You should just look over some pictures and see what catches your fancy. If you google "toggle switch" and click on "images" you will get .... LOTS of examples to go over. Then look up "rocker switch" and see about those pictures, as well. \$\endgroup\$ – jonk Sep 25 '18 at 2:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Those type of LED's consume so little power and need only 2.5 to 3 volts to turn ON, and may consume 1/10th of a watt each. You can use the smallest switch of your choice. \$\endgroup\$ – user105652 Sep 25 '18 at 3:56

Summarising your requirements: A switch to toggle power from 9V battery, with 370 ohms resistors in series with 2 LEDs, so the current flowing through the switch will be 9/370 which is about 24mA.

The specs that you've listed out for the switches are showing the maximum allowable voltage and current that the switches can handle. They usually don't draw any power from the circuitry unless it is a illuminated switch which has LEDs lighting up when powered ON.

As many has stated in other posts, this forum isn't for product recommendation so I'll just list out what to take note to help you find the right switch. To select for the right switch, you'll need to make sure that the switch rating is above 9V and can handle more than 24mA. The rest is just for you to decide on the switching method, whether it's a push button or a toggle type or sliding switch. You can go to popular electronic distributor sites to have a wider selection choice.


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