Basic Electrical Components You Can Use Today

The modern-day technology is fast-moving, and electrical components are being used for various applications. If you are an enthusiast in this area, it is necessary to understand some of the significant electric components and know what they can do for you to come up with designs and build reliable prototypes. Out of all the major parts, you will come across; it can be seen that they are classified into two major categories which are the active and passive components. The active components are the ones that contain nothing else but the parts that supply and control energy. The passive components are not involved in the supply of energy, and they only respond to the flow of power.

This article has combined a list of the primary electrical components being used today, and it will look into what they are made of and how they work in electrical devices. Read below and find out;


This is a part that partially blocks the flow of current in a circuit. It offers some resistance to the flow of electrons from one point to another, hence the name resistor. They can also be used to assign a particular voltage value to a transistor and other components. This device works by absorbing the current flowing in a circuit and then dissipating this energy in the form of heat. One can come across fixed or variable resistors today. The fixed resistors have a specific value, and this cannot be changed, but the variable ones can be adjusted. The operation of a resistor is specified by the Ohms law which states that the amount of current flowing through a resistor is proportional to the voltage across the terminals.


This is a passive component available from that has two terminals and made using two plates called dielectrics that have an insulator of varying forms between them. Its primary role is to store electrical charges when they are enforced through its terminals from a source of power. It can store these charges even after the power source is disconnected. It is mainly used in filters that restrict signals of certain frequencies from entering a circuit while also offering a reliable way of smoothing dc signals. The quantity of electrical charge stored in a capacitor is found by the relation between the capacitive reactance and the applied voltage.

The Microcontroller

This is a microcomputer that is moulded on a single integrated circuit. It has most of the features offered by a microprocessor and can be programmed to execute several instructions. It has several components that enable it to perform some of these sophisticated instructions such as the RAM, ROM, I/O ports and clock circuit among others. It can be used in a wide variety of applications, specifically for the devices that need to be automatically controlled.

The Inductor

This is that last of the three components that offer reactance alongside the resistor and capacitor. This is a coil that has two terminals. It stores electrical energy but in the form of electromagnetic energy. Usually, this part contains a conductor that is rolled up on a coil that works based on Faraday’s principle of inductance. When an electric current is passed on the terminals, the coil generates a magnetic field that flows in the clockwise direction.


This is a device that is made up of two copper wire coils that are linked by an iron core. It helps in changing the level of current and voltage easily. It can step up the voltage or step it down depending on the desired application. It is mainly used where ac voltages are involved, and it also works on the Faraday’s principle of electromagnetic induction. It converts electrical energy in two circuits through the principle of mutual induction without any electrical connection between them. When buying a transformer, you will be forced to select between a step up and a step-down model. The difference between these two is that the step-up type has more windings in the secondary coil than in the primary and the converse is true.


This is a common component that is used to store electrical energy. It does this by converting chemical energy to electrical energy through a series of reactions. It has several cells which always have an anode and a cathode. They can be classified as the disposable and rechargeable ones. The disposable ones are useless once they are used up, and the rechargeable ones can be connected to an electrical energy source once they are used up and get recharged.


This is a small material that is used to protect the electrical components in one part of the circuit from destructions if the electrical currents go beyond the specified amount. When excess current flows through the fuse, the wire heats up and disconnects the circuit thus isolating the receiving part of the circuit.


This is a semiconductor device that allows current to flow in a single direction. They are mostly used to convert ac to dc. An LED is a standard device, but it is a variant of the diode in that it emits light at a particular frequency. They are used in various applications such as status indicators and battery operated lights.

Integrated Circuit

It is a board that contains several electronic components that are fabricated together to perform a specific function. You can get several types of ICs on the market today, and they can be differentiated based on the integration density and how it can be programmed.

Some of the standard electrical components have been highlighted and others that you will get include;

  • Circuit breakers
  • Relays.
  • Motors.
  • Switches.
  • Transistors.

When coming up with electrical projects, you will probably be using some of these components, and the article above should give you a brief idea of what they are all about and how they can help you to achieve your intended goal. Keep in mind that they have different specifications and might have varying effects on your prototype or system and you should conduct some more research about them before selecting a particular one.

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