A Design Engineer’s guide to elegant and cost-effective solutions for illuminated switch projects

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MENTOR Illuminated Switch Caps video link

MENTOR's patented illuminated switch cap range offers Design Engineers an elegant, cost-effective solution for illuminated switching. The innovative design is the result of MENTOR's near 100-year legacy in the manufacture of electronic components, allied with their position today as world-leading designers and manufacturers of high-precision light guides and optics.

SWITCH CAPS AND STATUS INDICATORS USING LIGHT GUIDE EXPERTISE

Novel multi-part SMD switch design for flexible solutions

The conventional Design approach is to specify an "all-in-one" component supplied as a complete assembly. MENTOR's novel solution offers the illuminated cap separately from the switch and LEDs. Image 1 demonstrates the basic principle of soldering the SMD switch and LEDs onto the PCB and then push-fitting the switch into a precision-manufactured recess inside the switch cap. The switches can be incorporated into complex panels, and the use of RGB LEDs allows an infinite choice of switchable colours to emanate from a single switch cap.

Full-face, homogenous illumination developed using world-leading light guide expertise

The innovative illuminated switch cap design exploits MENTOR's advanced competencies in the management of LED light. The face of the two-part switch cap is a precision-designed area light guide, providing totally homogeneous illumination with no hot-spots, despite using just two SMD LEDs. Image 2 illustrates a novel design variation, incorporating downward light guides to LEDs which provide clearly-defined secondary and tertiary signal status. Versions are available for use with painted enclosures or for fitting beneath overlays / membranes with transparent sections.

UNIQUE LIGHT GUIDE-BASED 7 SEGMENT DISPLAYS

MENTOR’s 7 Segment displays are unique in that a single mono or RGB SMD LED can be used for each segment. This means that the colour of each segment is infinitely variable, as illustrated in Image 3. Dimensions including height are also infinitely variable.

CUSTOM SOLUTIONS

Customer-specific cap heights can be realised with little or no tool cost. Other possibilities include body-coloured switch caps and signal indicators to suggest potential colour, even when their illumination is off. Different printing processes provide many graphics / text options.

SWITCH CAPS

fully illuminated status indicators

HOMOGENOUSLY ILLUMINATED SWITCH CAPS

  • For use with SMD tactile switches and LEDs under a membrane overlay, providing homogenous illumination
  • RGB LEDs offer an infinite choice of switchable colours
  • Matching non-switchable status indicators available
Link to the detail
illuminated switch caps with 1 or 2 status indicators

HOMOGENOUSLY ILLUMINATED SWITCH CAPS WITH INDIVIDUAL STATUS INDICATION

  • Similar to the standard range but with 1 or 2 status indicators
  • RGB LEDs offer an infinite choice of switchable colours
  • Matching non-switchable status indicators available
Link to the detail
switch plungers without illumination

SWITCH PLUNGERS WITHOUT ILLUMINATION

  • Designed for applications where full-face illumination is not required
  • For use under a membrane overlay
  • Variants are available with up to four status indicators
Link to the detail
switch plungers with illuminated status indicators

SWITCH PLUNGERS WITH ILLUMINATED STATUS INDICATION

  • For use under a membrane overlay
  • Up to four status indicators are provided
  • RGB LEDs offer an infinite choice of status colours
  • Variants are available without status indicators
Link to the detail
low profile illuminated switch caps

LOW-PROFILE HOMOGENOUSLY ILLUMINATED SWITCH CAPS FOR MEMBRANE KEYPADS

  • For use with SMD Micon 5 and Inovan Snap Dome switches (or identical) and SMD LEDs under a membrane overlay
  • RGB LEDs offer an infinite choice of switchable colours
Link to the detail
text / graphic switch caps with full-face illumination

TEXT/GRAPHIC SWITCH CAPS WITH CUSTOM FOILS AND FULL-FACE ILLUMINATION

  • Foils featuring text/graphics can be homogenously illuminated
  • RGB LEDs offer an infinite choice of switchable colours
  • Matching non-switchable status indicators are available
Link to the detail

NUMBER & STATUS INDICATORS (NON-SWITCHABLE)

illuminated number / status indicators

FULL-FACE ILLUMINATION FOR STATUS INDICATION

  • For use under a membrane overlay
  • Same design as the full-face illumination switch caps, but non-switchable
  • RGB LEDs offer an infinite choice of switchable colours
Link to the detail
illuminated text / graphic status indicators

TEXT/GRAPHIC STATUS INDICATORS WITH CUSTOM FOILS AND FULL-FACE ILLUMINATION

  • For use with painted/coated enclosures with apertures
  • Design matches the text/graphic switch caps
  • RGB LEDs offer an infinite choice of switchable colours
Link to the detail
miniature light guides for keypad status

MINIATURE LIGHT GUIDES FOR KEYPAD STATUS INDICATION

  • 2mm diameter LEDs, closely spaced
  • No light bleed despite the close proximity of individual light elements
  • Single Light Guide or Quad Light Guide options
Link to the detail
7 Segment displays with RGB LEDs for each segment

7 SEGMENT DISPLAYS

  • The innovative design is Light Guide based – customers supply their own SMD LEDs
  • RGB LEDs offer an infinite choice of colours, even within each segment of the display
Link to the detail

MENTOR SMD SWITCHES & RECOMMENDED LEDs

SMD tactile switches

SMD TACTILE SWITCHES

  • For use with MENTOR's range of switch caps
  • A choice of four actuating forces
  • Depending on the choice of switch, a reliability of up to one million switching cycles is offered
Link to the detail
recommended LEDs for MENTOR switch caps and light guides

RECOMMENDED LEDS

  • For use with all of MENTOR's ranges of switch caps and light guides
  • A choice of recommended manufacturers
  • A choice of LED types
Link to the detail

CUSTOMER REFERENCES & CUSTOM SOLUTIONS

customer references for MENTOR keypad components

EXAMPLES OF SWITCH APPLICATIONS - CUSTOMER REFERENCES

  • Have look at some examples of real-life switch applications from a selection of MENTOR's customers
Link to the detail
custom switch caps and status indicators

CUSTOM CAPS

  • MENTOR's design expertise can help you realise your switch cap and status indicator ideas

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