Magnetic Reed Switch

The reed switch is an electrical switch operated by an applied magnetic field. It was invented at Bell Telephone Laboratories in 1936 by W. B. Ellwood. It consists of a pair of contacts on ferrous metal reeds in a hermetically sealed glass envelope. The contacts may be normally open, closing when a magnetic field is present, or normally closed and opening when a magnetic field is applied. The switch may be actuated by a coil, making a reed relay,[1] or by bringing a magnet near to the switch. Once the magnet is pulled away from the switch, the reed switch will go back to its original position.

An example of a reed switch’s application is to detect the opening of a door, when used as a proximity switch for a burglar alarm.


In addition to their use in reed relays, reed switches are widely used for electrical circuit control, particularly in the communications field. Reed switches actuated by magnets are commonly used in mechanical systems as proximity switches as well as in door and window sensors in burglar alarm systems and tamperproofing methods; however they can be disabled by a strong, external magnetic field. Reed switches were formerly used in the keyboards for computer terminals, where each key had a magnet and a reed switch actuated by depressing the key; cheaper switches are now used. Speed sensors on bicycle wheels use a reed switch to actuate briefly each time a magnet on the wheel passes the sensor.

Electric and electronic pedal keyboards used by pipe organ and Hammond organ players often use reed switches, where the glass enclosure of the contacts protects them from dirt, dust, and other particles.

Reed switches are used in modern laptops which puts the laptop on sleep/hibernation mode when the lid is closed.

source Wikipedia

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