Lumiya presses the activation stud on her lightwhip.

"How does it work?"
"On the same principle as my whip…when you activate that stud on the hilt, it releases a beam of coherent energy which forms the sword blade."
Den Siva and Lumiya[src]

The activation stud, button, slide, switch, lever, or plate, was a component on the hilt of a lightsaber or lightwhip that activated the weapon's energy blade. It was generally a prominent button, although Asajj Ventress concealed the activation switches on her lightsabers.[1]

When a lightsaber was activated, it stayed active until the wielder pressed the activation button again to deactivate it. However, if the lightsaber had a pressure grip, it automatically deactivated when the wielder was no longer holding the lightsaber, such as when the wielder was disarmed. A lightsaber could also have a locking activator, which was a specialized activation stud that could lock the lightsaber's blade into the activated position, even when the wielder was not holding the lightsaber. This allowed the wielder to use the lightsaber as a thrown weapon. Locking the blade prevented it from being accidentally deactivated when the weapon impacted the target.[2]

A lightsaber hilt showing an activation plate

A trapped grip was another modification that was used to prevent unauthorized users from activating the lightsaber. If someone attempted to activate it without disarming the trap, they would be injured by an energy discharge.[2]

A rare modification was the Force-activated lightsaber. This required the wielder to activate their lightsaber using the Force, thus removing the activation button from the lightsaber's hilt.[2]

Skillful activation and deactivation of a lightsaber was a key feature in Tràkata, a form of lightsaber combat that involved repeatedly activating and deactivating the lightsaber. For example, a technique called "Pass the blade" was used to deactivate the lightsaber then reactivate it to pass through an opponent's block.[2]

Lightsabers had other buttons and knobs that adjusted the blade's length and its power or intensity.[3] In a dual-phase lightsaber, a second lightsaber blade could be activated that was twice the length of a normal blade.[2]

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Duel · Dun Möch · Fast style · Jar'Kai · Medium style · Strong style · Form "Zero" · Lus-ma · Mounted · Sokan · Three rings of defense · Trispzest · Tràkata
I (Shii-Cho) · II (Makashi) · III (Soresu) · IV (Ataru) · V (Shien/Djem So) · VI (Niman) · VII (Juyo/Vaapad)
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Crossguard lightsaber · Curved-hilt lightsaber · Darksaber · Dual-phase lightsaber · Double-bladed lightsaber · Forcesaber · Imperial Knight lightsaber · Interlocking hilt · Lightclub · Lightfoil · Lightwhip · Long-handle lightsaber · Lightsaber pike · Protosaber · Sabercane · Shoto / Guard shoto · Sith lightsaber · Training lightsaber (Electroblade training sword · Sith training saber)
Lightsaber-resistant materials and creatures:
Amphistaff (Scepter of Power · Tsaisi) · Armorweave · Cortosis · Force weapon (Discblade · Felucian Skullblade · Force-imbued blade) · Mandalorian iron · Neuranium · Norris root · Orbalisks · Phrik · Sith alchemy (Sith sword) · Songsteel · Taozin · Ultrachrome · Vonduun crab (Vonduun Skerr Kyrric) · Zillo Beast
Activation stud · Bifurcating cyclical-ignition pulse · Blade power adjustment knob · Blade emitter · Crystal · Diatium power cell · Discharge energy cell · Emitter matrix · Enhancement jewel · Fibercord · Field energizer · Flux aperture · Focusing lens · Force-activated · Hilt · Inert power insulator · Ion energy cell · Locking activator · Pommel cap · Power pack · Pressure grip · Stabilizing ring · Trapped grip
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