I stopped by Bloody's booth at CES to check out the company's famed optical switch, previously called the Light Strike (LK) switch, which is now in its just-launched third revision.
The key—no pun intended—to Bloody's LK3, now called LK Libra, is an optical switch triggered by a small window in the switch itself. LK switches don't actually have any electrical component to them, and the sensor and emitter resides on the keyboard PCB itself. When a user presses on the switch, the switch slides down and reveals a window, letting the light signal pass through. The emitter is always on, ready for the sensor to be triggered.
Bloody says that the light signaling makes its LK switches not only the fastest in the world but also the most reliable. On traditional Cherry MX switches, the electrical contact point exists in the switch itself, so in situations where juice or soda is spilled, it can prevent a signal from passing through. Bloody says that the number one failure in a mechanical gaming switch is its metallic contact point, which can also corrode over time and lose its conductivity. Using an optical trigger eliminates this and allows the entire switch to be cleaned and washed at any time.
Bloody's LK3 switches improve on its initial LK1 and LK2 switches in terms of stabilization. The switch housing and keycap palm slider have been redesigned with more rigidity. Bloody also added a metal stabilizer bar to improve keypress feel.
In fact, Bloody gave me a one of its clicky orange switches as a souvenir. Unfortunately, it became my new fidget toy and I couldn't stop walking around CES without constantly clicking the thing and annoying people I was meeting with. I think Bloody's orange LK3 switch is going to make me swap out my Das Keyboard for something new. That's about as high of praise as I can give any switch.