smart garage door openers

Smart Garage Door Controllers: How They Work and The Benefits of Going Smart

Getting to Know Smart Home Automation and Security Systems

If you are looking for the best garage door opener for your home that can be controlled by remote access even when you are away from the house, consider investing in a smart garage door controller.

Many people are looking for ways to eliminate the number of keys or controllers they have to carry, but want to keep their home safe and secure while away. Home automation systems are designed to make our lives easier, and in recent years, the smart technology market has developed a solution that helps make garage doors even easier to access and operate than a standard garage door.

By turning to smart technology, the chances of losing your remote controller are minimized, but the security of your home is increased. 

Switching to a smart garage door controller can save you a lot of space and time and, when used correctly, can bring a lot of other benefits to your day-to-day routine.

How Do Smart Garage Door Controllers Work?

If you haven’t replaced your garage door controller yet, now is the time to go smart. There are many different types of garage door controllers on the market, but not all of them are smart. 

Whereas traditional garage door controllers usually require a physical device and are often battery-powered, a smart garage door controller operates on WiFi and is operated by an app on your smart device or home hub. They have an attractive, streamlined construction that won’t take up lots of room in your garage.

The Benefits of Owning a Smart Garage Door Opener

Introducing high-tech solutions into your home should be simple and fun, not frustrating. There are many benefits to owning any sort of smart home automation system and they are designed to be effortless and complementary to your lifestyle. 

The benefits of using a smart garage opener include:

  • Easy to use – Using the simplicity of a single touchscreen device, you can utilize everything your smart garage door controller has to offer. Need to open it for a delivery while you are at work – that’s easy when it’s smart.

If your smart garage door opener is a part of a broader smart home security system, you may be able to adjust lighting and temperature, as well as audiovisual and security solutions with the same app. 

  • Give peace of mind – Say goodbye to worrying and obsessing whether you turned off the lights, locked the door or closed the garage. For busy homeowners and renters, being able to check on your home’s security remotely with an app automatically makes automation reassuring and worth the investment.
  • Convenience – Have you ever found yourself digging through your purse to find the remote garage door controller or had to struggle to get a manual garage door open with full hands? The garage door should always be a port of entry into the house which is easily accessed by the members of the family. With a smart garage door controller, you can remotely open or close the garage door. This is convenient for coming home, leaving the house, lifting heavy items and transporting things to and from the house via the garage with finesse. No more jangling keys trying to find your garage door remote controller. You are just one simple tap away from your garage opening and closing at your wish. 
  • App-controlled – One big benefit of having your garage door opener controlled by an app is that you won’t ever lose it. You can even have it stored in a backup device just in case the battery dies on your cell phone.
  • Security – As the owner of a smart garage door-controlled system, you are able to add or remove authorized users and devices as needed. Smart systems can also include added security features like notifications of misuse or attempted access by a non-authorized user.

Is Your Garage Door Controller Part of an Integrated Smart Security System?

Some of the most superior smart garage door controllers are only a small part of a wider, more sophisticated home security system. You can invest in a complete home smart security system and know what’s happening on your property at any time. These systems allow:

  • Security alerts when entry is detected.
  • Bespoke alerts and reminders for changes and updates on your property.
  • Connected Car to protect your vehicle and whoever drives it with behaviour alerts, vehicle alerts and location tracking, among other features.

At Kobalt Systems, we are proud partners with Alarm.com. We sell, install and maintain a wide range of smart security systems including smart garage door openers. Alarm.com security systems integrate with most major garage door opener companies such as:

  • Genie
  • Lift Master
  • Chamberlain
  • GoControl
  • OHD Anywhere

You Can Take Your Smart Garage Door Opener With You If You Move

Are you moving? Do you need to add or remove a location to your device? New garage door controllers are more flexible than ever before, since they connect to smart devices. Simply reprogram your security system or device to your new location while deleting or forgetting your old one. Don’t give up on your state-of-the-art smart garage door controller and leave it behind with your old house.

Get Expert Help to Install and Program Your Smart Garage Opener

If you have chosen to install a smart garage door opener, you are making a great choice to optimize your home’s smart attributes. When deciding which system is best for you, call an expert such as the team at Kobalt Systems, who can help program and automate your system to your personal requirements.

Kobalt Systems, based in Victoria BC and serving southern Vancouver Island, offers free consultations to assess your home’s security needs. Whatever you are in the market for, or if you’re just curious about how to make your home as secure as possible, starting with your garage door, book an appointment with Kobalt Systems today.

home ev charger installation

Efficient and Cost-Effective Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging

Rebate Programs for Residential and Commercial EV Charging in BC

Electric vehicles are surging in popularity across the country for many reasons including saving money on gas, emissions-free motoring, reduced lifetime maintenance and costs, improved battery performance and an increase in options on the market.

The one thing that still holds some vehicle owners back from making the switch to an electric vehicle is concern over the ability to charge the vehicle quickly and conveniently

Of course, electric vehicles (EVs) do need regular charging, depending on their range, and while there are more public charging stations opening, there is also higher demand for those charging spots. 

While EVs can be charged at home on your regular 120v wiring, charging this way will be slow. More often, EV owners are choosing to upgrade to a Level 2 (240v) charging station for faster and more convenient charging at their home or workplace.

The good news is that there are a number of national and provincial (BC) rebates available for those buying EVs and upgrading their charging systems.

Save on Brand-New Electric Vehicles with National and Federal Rebates

If you’ve been on the fence for a while about committing to the change to an electric vehicle, now really is the time to do it. There are both National and BC provincial rebates that can add up to a total of $8,000 off a new EV – that’s enough to pay for electric charging for quite a few years.

If you are purchasing a new Electric Vehicle, be sure to look into:

When claimed together, these programs offer a combined rebate of:

Up to $8,000 for the purchase (or lease) of 

  • Battery Electric Vehicles
  • Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles
  • Long range Plug-In Hybrid vehicles

Or up to $4,000 for

  • Short-range plug-in hybrid vehicles

Rebates are applied at the point of purchase via the car dealership. Check out this list of eligible electric vehicles for their combined rebate allowance.

Charging Your Electric Vehicle – Where Can You Do It?

Once you have purchased your EV, the most important thing to consider is where and how you are going to charge it. Most new electric vehicles come with standard charging equipment that connects to a regular 120v power source so you can begin charging right away.

EV charging can be done at:

  • Home – with the standard electric vehicle chargers or upgrade to a Level 2, 240v charger
  • Public charging station – found at parking lots or shopping malls. Usually free of charge, but time is usually limited.
  • Pay for charging station – these public charging stations charge a fee but are Level 2 chargers so charging is much faster
  • At work – more workplaces are installing charging stations for staff. You can ask your place of work to consider this as rebates are available for this kind of installation.

Why is Upgrading to a Level 2 Charger a Good Idea?

For any EV owner who plans to use their vehicle daily, fast and convenient charging is important. When choosing a home EV charger, consider upgrading to a Level 2 charger for these benefits:

  • A Level 2 charger creates 6.2 – 7.4kwh of charge, compared to 1.4kwh with a level 1 charger
  • A level 1 charger will produce approximately 8km of driving range per 1 hour on charge, whereas a Level 2 charger will produce up to 30km of range per hour.
  • A level 1 charger will take 12-20 hours to fully charge an EV, compared to 6-14 hours for a Level 2 charger.

Remember, working with electricity can be dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing. Residential Level 2 EV chargers should always be installed by an EV charging installation expert like Kobalt Systems.

Save on Fast EV Charging with These Rebate Programs

In British Columbia, rebates are available towards the cost of purchase and installation of Level 2 EV chargers in single-family homes, multi-unit residential buildings and on business premises.

The rebates, managed by BC Hydro under the Clean BC Go Electric Charger Rebate Program, can be applied for as follows:

Single Family Home Owners (including duplexes and townhomes with garages or designated parking):

  • Rebate of 50% (up to $350) of purchase and installation of a Level 2 charger

Apartment / Condo owners can apply for the EV Ready Rebate, which consists of three parts that can be applied for together or separately:

  • EV Ready Plan – Rebate of up to $3,000 for creation of a plan to make at least 1 parking space per unit EV ready
  • EV Ready Infrastructure – Rebate of 50% (Up to $600 per space) for the cost of installing electrical infrastructure to support Level 2 charging. Up to a maximum rebate of $80,000 per project
  • EV Charger Rebate – Rebate of $1,400 per charger purchased and installed to a maximum $14,000 per project.

Business owners and commercial workplaces – can apply the Stand-Alone EV Charger Rebate at up to 4 workplace locations:

  • Rebate of $2,000 per unit to purchase and install Level 2 EV chargers for use by employees only.
  • Condo owners can also choose to apply this rebate instead of the EV Ready rebate.

Tip: Rebates for this program can be claimed after the work has been completed so make sure you check and keep the paperwork and receipts that are required.

Let Kobalt Systems Guide You Through EV Charger Installation and Rebates

If you are planning to purchase an Electric Vehicle and want to install a Level 2 charger, or you are looking to install charging systems at your apartment building or workplace, Kobalt Systems is here to help.

Depending on the vehicle you have chosen, we can recommend the best charger options for you, install the charging system on-site at your home or workplace and provide the information and paperwork you require to claim your rebates.

Kobalt Systems, based in Victoria and serving southern Vancouver Island, offers EV charging station installation in single-family homes, multi-family developments and at business locations. Contact us today to arrange an on-site visit and quote.

Replace FPE Stab Lok Panels

FPE Stab-Lok Panels: What They are and Why You Should Replace Them

Electrical Panel Replacement Recommended for Older Homes and Buildings

If you live or work in an older building, you could be sitting on a ticking time bomb when it comes to the safety of the electrical panel and circuitry. You’ll want to check to see if you have a Federal Pacific/Pioneer Electric Stab-Lok breaker panel installed.

The FPE Stab-Lok Breaker Panel was manufactured from the 1950s to the 1980s, remaining a popular installation choice well into the 2000s.

In every home or workplace, the electricity for the building is controlled and sent around via an electrical panel box. These electrical panel boxes feature breakers that can trip, effectively shutting off electricity in order to prevent risk of an electrical fire.

While modern electrical panel boxes are very safe, FPE Stab-Lok panels have been found to fail safety requirement testing and therefore are considered a safety risk. In this blog, we’ll take a look at exactly what FPE Stab-Lok panels are, how to identify if your building has one, and why you should replace them. But first, let’s cover some electrical panel basics.

What is an Electrical Panel and How Does it Work?

Your home or business gets electricity from a meter located somewhere outside the building. From there, electricity runs to a circuit breaker panel inside, at which point it gets redirected to each room and thus each appliance that requires electricity to operate.

In a typical breaker panel, there will be a main switch that controls the electricity for the entire home or business, as well individual switches for each room or circuit.

A breaker will sometimes trip, resulting in a loss of power to a specific area. Usually, a tripped breaker is caused by the circuit being overloaded (too many appliances running at the same time), but here are a few other reasons:

  • Arcing. Occasional tripping is expected, but repeated tripping can indicate a loose wire connection that results in sparking or arcing.
  • Grounding. If the hot wire connects with a grounding wire, or any of the metal components of the breaker box, the circuit will short out. This kind of fault is especially dangerous since it carries the risk of shock.
  • Shorting. A short happens when the hot wire connects with the neutral wire, a bare grounding wire, or the metal components of the breaker box. This causes an unobstructed flow of electrical current, which results in the breaker tripping.

How Do I Know I Have an FPE Stab-Lok Panel?

Identifying an FPE Stab-Lok panel is easy because they have some very distinct characteristics:

  • There is a Federal Pacific Electric Company or FPE label on the front of the unit or inside the door.
  • The breakers are painted red.
  • The schematic between the two rows of breaker switches is painted white, with rounded corners and tick-marks between the numbers.

If you’ve looked for all these visual characteristics, but you still aren’t sure, ask a licensed electrician. They can remove each switch and check for E- or F-shaped openings that are unique to this kind of breaker. 

Do not attempt to remove them yourself, as there is a risk of electrocution.

Why You Should Replace Your FPE Stab-Lok Panel

In 1982, Reliance Electric reported that the Stab-Lok circuit breaker panels had a “possible defect”, but these panels actually pose a significant safety hazard. 

FPE Stab-Lok panels have two important safety concerns:

  • Inability to trip when overloaded or short-circuited. Excess current heats up and ignites, which could cause electrical fires, leading to property damage or even loss of life.
  • Metal expansion. Electrified metals heat up and expand and different metals will expand at different rates. FPE Stab-Lok breakers feature copper connectors, while electrical panels are made of aluminum. This difference leads to a loose connection, which can result in fire. 

Tried, Tested and Failed

In the 1980s, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) hired Consulting Engineer Jesse Aronstein, and the company he worked for, to safety test FPE’s Stab-Lok panel. In tests, over 50% of the tested breakers failed to trip, indicating a significant flaw in the panel design.

Aronstein and statistics expert Richard Lowry co-authored a peer-reviewed paper in which they estimated the following numbers to have occurred yearly:

  • $40 million property damage
  • 2,800 fires
  • 13 deaths

In spite of the massive failure in the tested breakers, the CPSC never stated whether they felt the FPE Stab-Lok panels were unsafe, instead calling the over 50% failure inconclusive. 

A Breaker Panel by Any Other Name

The Federal Pacific Electric brand is the most common, but you may just find the words Stab-Lok on the label on your electrical panel. There are also several other companies associated with FPE, who continued to use the Stab-Lok design.  

These companies are:

  • Challenger Electric
  • American Circuit Breaker Company
  • Connecticut Electric
  • Electrical-Mechanical Industries, Inc.
  • Federal NOARK

What To Do if You’ve Got an FPE Stab-Lok Panel

If you own a home or business that was built between 1950 and 1980, it’s possible that you have an Federal Pacific Stab-Lok panel – or even one of a number of other brands that came along later, using the same flawed design.

Historically, the go-to option for a failing panel was to have it removed, tested and repaired. Since the design of the Stab-Lok panel is considered unsafe outright, simply repairing it is like putting a bandage on a broken bone – it won’t fix the problem. 

You need to replace the unit. 

This is where Kobalt Systems can help. Our qualified electrician team will not only ensure that your old panel is safely removed, but they will discuss your electrical needs and determine the best electrical panel replacement unit to suit your needs and your budget. 

While the cost of replacing a breaker panel can run between $1500 and $2000, we do offer financing for qualified applicants. Feeling safe in your own home or business doesn’t have to hurt your budget!

Let our qualified electricians help you feel safe where you live and work – contact us today about replacing your FPE Stab-Lok panel.

electrical for greenhouse and garden

Electrical for Greenhouses & Gardens

Does Your Garden or Greenhouse Need Electricity?

Boost your plant growth during colder months with an electrically outfitted greenhouse and garden. Grocery prices aren’t getting lower anytime soon – that’s why utilizing a greenhouse and garden can be a worthwhile investment. 

Greenhouses can range from small sheds to industrial-sized buildings, and a basic greenhouse can work great for anyone looking to give their plants a healthy boost. 

While a greenhouse can work without electricity, you can greatly improve your yield with a well-functioning electrical system. 

Installing a garden electrical junction box can also make it much easier to power lawn mowers and hedge trimmers, along with providing power to outdoor garden lights and water features

Does Your Greenhouse & Garden Need Electricity?

Just like most things home-related, the answer to this question depends entirely on what you need your greenhouse and garden to do. 

Using electricity in a greenhouse can be helpful for tropical plants, as well as many kinds of temperate plants that need protection from the winter cold.  Lighting and heating in greenhouses are also essential for rooting cuttings and germinating plants. 

Before you decide to power your greenhouse and garden, ask yourself:

  • What do I want to use my greenhouse and garden for?
  • Do I need to extend the growing season?
  • Do my plants need to be kept frost-free?
  • Does the operating cost outweigh the value of produce my plants will provide?

While there are a variety of options to heat and light your greenhouse and garden, electricity is the best option. Unlike natural gas or liquid gas/oil, it’s versatile, easy to control, and allows you to use various types of equipment.

Why should you avoid using natural gas or liquid gas/oil?

  • Gas and oil are combustible
  • Creates high levels of gasses and condensation
  • Higher loss in heat and energy
  • Failure to remove toxic gasses can be harmful to you and your plants
  • Costs more to install and maintain

With the price of gas, using electricity in your greenhouse and garden is the most cost-efficient route. 

How To Run Electricity To Your Greenhouse & Garden

Unless you’re an electrician, always hire a professional to wire your greenhouse and garden. Hiring a professional will ensure that your wiring is up to regulatory standards, otherwise, insurance companies could refuse to cover you in the event of a claim. 

Having a power supply isolated in the greenhouse and garden can make it much easier to switch power on and off, rather than having to go back and forth to your main panel. This can be achieved with an underground conduit. 

Your power supply should be fitted with safety devices that will allow you to disconnect the power from the system in case the supply cable gets damaged or overloaded. 

Typically, powering your greenhouse and other garden appliances can be done one of two ways:

  • Installing a circuit breaker and wire each of the appliances into separate breakers
  • Setting up a number of waterproofed, fused power sockets to plug appliances into

Installing 110V and 220V outlets with the equivalent amperage of that needed to supply a normal-sized room should be enough to cover your needs. It’s best to add as many outlets as you can because it can be more of a hassle to install them later. 

The last thing you’ll want is an out-of-reach outlet while you’re gardening! That’s why it’s important to hire a professional to do the job right because they’ll know exactly how much electricity you’ll need and where.

Maintain A Steady Temperature For Your Plants

Temperature control is essential if you want your greenhouse to be successful. 

It’s worthwhile to consider these 3 forms of greenhouse heating:

  1. General heating

To achieve frost-free conditions, a thermostat-controlled fan heater set to an ambient temperature can work great.

The same heater can pull double duty during the summer months by turning off the heating element and operating as a fan only. 

Adequate ventilation of fresh air and reducing humidity can help your plants to avoid growing mold and fungi.

  1. Bottom heat

Installing a thermostat-controlled heated bench or mat can create a perfect temperature for rooting cuttings or germinating seeds. 

While you can do it yourself and construct your own beds, there are premade beds available to buy. 

  1. High-level heating

When higher temperatures are needed, use a thermostat-controlled propagator and manually adjust it to your desired temperature.

It’s important to note that all of your plugs should be waterproofed. A professional electrician will make sure of that. 

Another thing to keep in mind is installing insulation into your greenhouse. With a home or commercial building, single-pane windows can cost you in energy bills. The same goes for a greenhouse.

Installing a lining of bubble plastic or cellophane inside of the roof and walls will reduce heat loss and save you from costly energy bills. 

Find Your Light Solutions For Plant Growth

Plants need light to germinate, but natural light in your greenhouse can be lost if you have fitted insulation. An electrical light system within your greenhouse will counteract the loss of natural light and encourage plant growth.

For greenhouse lighting, fluorescent lights designed for damp conditions can be used. Fitting time-controlled fluorescent lights can supplement poor natural light during the winter months. This can be achieved with a simple adaptor that fits into a wall socket. 

With all of this heating and lighting being used, how can you avoid a spike in energy costs?

Grow lights are a perfect solution for your greenhouse. Energy-efficient LED lights will operate cooler than regular lights and guard against leaf burn on your plants. With its low heat emission and low energy consumption, investing in grow lights will help save you from costly energy bills. 

Alternatively, a light control system could reduce electrical costs by 33%. 

More Benefits of Installing Electricity In Your Garden:

Installing electricity in your garden can be beneficial in all seasons as you can power:

  • Automatic watering systems
  • Any accessories that need a good power supply to run
  • Garden lights to create a cozy atmosphere and provide a visual aid when using the garden at night

 

While there are temporary solutions available, installing permanent electricity is a longer-lasting solution to getting electricity to your greenhouse and garden. 

Gardening can be a big job. Having electricity available makes it that much more convenient. 

Kobalt Systems For All Your Garden Electrical Needs

Founded in 2015, Kobalt Systems offers expert full-service electrical, communications, and security services. 

Our professional team of highly trained master journeyman electricians offers cost-effective electrical solutions for your backyard. 

Contact us today about improving your gardening game, and so much more.

is my bathroom fan working

Is My Bathroom Fan Working Properly?

When to Replace or Upgrade Your Bathroom Fan

The bathroom is most likely the most humid room in your home. Because it’s the room where you and your family enjoy steamy showers, run cozy bubble baths and run the sinks for toothbrushing and face-washing, it’s easy to see why your bathroom would have the highest humidity level in your house.

If your bathroom is poorly ventilated, all this warm steam can cause excess moisture buildup. This extra moisture can cause:

  • Mold and mildew
  • Bad odours
  • Poor indoor air quality
  • Peeling paint or wallpaper
  • Lifting or splitting of laminated plywood vanities

In more extreme cases, this may cause structural damage by penetrating into your home’s drywall, attic insulation, and structural joists. 

Besides removing odours, the main purpose of bathroom ventilation is to remove all that extra moisture from the bathroom before your furnishings and finishings suffer water damage.

But how do you know if your bathroom exhaust fan is really working properly? 

When Does Your Bathroom Exhaust Fan Need Servicing?

One of the biggest mistakes is thinking that just because your bathroom fan is making noise, that must mean it’s working. 

Is your bathroom exhaust fan actually pulling out humidity and moisture, or is it simply making noise?

If you’re finding excessive moisture on your mirrors and walls, this can be a major indicator that your bathroom ventilation isn’t working properly. 

If your bathroom exhaust fan is making a lot of noise, is slow to start, or is failing to remove moisture, your bathroom fan needs to be cleaned or replaced. 

It’s important to note that if your bathroom fan starts to smell like burnt plastic, this is a fire hazard. This means your fan is failing or there are problems with your electrical wires. This should be replaced immediately to avoid any bathroom fan fires. 

The best way to tell if your bathroom fan is in need of servicing or replacement is the “toilet paper test”. 

To do the toilet paper test:

  • Take 2 pieces of toilet paper
  • Turn on the fan and place the toilet paper against the fan cover
  • The fan should suck up the toilet paper and stay attached to the fan
  • If not, your bathroom exhaust fan isn’t working efficiently

Typically, your bathroom ventilation should be cleaned at least 1 or 2 times a year. If you keep up with routine cleaning and maintenance, your bathroom fan can last up to 10 years or more. 

It’s possible to clean your bathroom fan yourself. But for a more thorough cleaning, it’s recommended that you hire professionals.

How to Clean Your Bathroom Fan

A quick inspection and cleaning may be the solution to the poor ventilation in your bathroom. 

How to clean your bathroom exhaust fan:

  • Shut off your electrical circuit to your bathroom to avoid shock
  • Remove your bathroom fan cover
  • Use a damp cloth, or an upholstery brush or crevice tool on your vacuum
  • Remove any dust, cobwebs, and other debris from the fan and housing
  • Replace your bathroom fan cover
  • Turn your electrical circuit back on

While it is possible to remove the motor and clean it as well, it’s highly recommended that you leave that to the pros.

Once you have completed these cleaning steps, try the toilet paper test again. If it holds this time, your bathroom exhaust fan is working efficiently.

If not, it’s time to replace your bathroom ventilation. 

What should you consider before upgrading?

Airflow Rates For Your Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Airflow rate is an important factor when considering a new bathroom fan. 

Air movement is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). This is the standard measurement of fan airflow in a bathroom. 

According to the Home Ventilating Institute, following proper guidelines will ensure efficient ventilation. 

  • For bathrooms under 100 square feet, the basic rule is to exhaust at least one CFM (cubic foot per minute) for every square foot of the bathroom area. 

For example, an 8’x10’ bathroom (80 square feet) would require a minimum of 80 CFM. 

  • For bathrooms that are over 100 square feet, the calculations are based not on square footage, but on the number and type of fixtures in the bathroom. 

Consider an allowance of 50 CFM for each standard toilet, bathtub, and shower. 

More importantly, you should allow 100 CFM for whirlpools and hot tubs because these generate the highest levels of humidity. 

Besides finding the right airflow for the right space, what else should you look for?

Finding the Right Noise Level

Sound levels in bathroom fans are rated in sones, not decibels. The sones rating is a measurement of how sound is perceived by the listener.

The lower the rating, the quieter your fan will be. If the bathroom fan doesn’t carry an HVI rating, chances are the fan will be noisy. 

Typically, a good sone rating is 1.5 or lower. But it’s important to note that if the level of noise is too quiet, you may forget that it’s on!

Always look for that “Energy Star” rating to ensure energy savings and superior efficiency with far less noise. 

Basically, two of the most important features of a bathroom exhaust fan are quietness and removing moisture and odours. Now that you have a good idea of what you need, you have some choices between models and innovative features for your new bathroom fan.

Features of Modern Bathroom Ventilation

Typically, bathroom fans vent out through a duct running up to the roof.

Choices of bathroom fans include:

  • Simple box fans that are installed in the ceiling
  • Combination bathroom fan/light fixtures
  • Combination bathroom fan/light/heater fixtures
  • Wall-mounted bathroom fans to avoid much ductwork

Bathroom exhaust fans come in a variety of selections, depending on your style and needs. 

Additional features of modern bathroom exhaust fans include:

  • A timer switch
  • A nightlight
  • A humidity sensor
  • A motion sensor
  • Adjustable fan speeds
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • A speaker to play music
  • Thermal heat protection

There are also fan/light fixtures available with decorative globes and finishes to suit any bathroom style. 

Keep Your Bathroom Space Free From Moisture

Unless your bathroom fan motor stops working entirely, it can be difficult to know whether or not your fan is pulling moisture out of the bathroom.

If your mirror is steamed up after a shower, or if there’s a buildup of condensation on your bathroom walls and ceiling, it may be time to service or upgrade your bathroom ventilation. 

Ideally, you should only have to run your bathroom fan for about 20 minutes after a shower. If you’re finding there’s still excessive moisture in your bathroom, it’s time to contact the professionals. 

Kobalt Systems offers expert full-service electrical, communications, and security services. Founded in 2015, our professional team of highly-trained master journeyman electricians offers the most cost-effective solutions for your home or property. Contact us today about replacing your bathroom ventilation, and so much more.

Electric Vehicle Charger

Electric Vehicle Chargers for Homes

What You Need to Know About Electric Car Charger Installation at Your Home

Electric cars are becoming commonplace, and more homeowners are opting to have electric vehicle chargers installed at their homes. According to Stats Canada and the Toronto Star, there’s an estimated 200,000 electric and hybrid vehicles on the road in Canada as of December 2021.  

That number is only predicted to rise, as gas prices soar year over year and the BC Government offers tantalizing rebates for home EV charging stations as well as the purchase of a new electric battery powered vehicle, hybrid vehicle, or hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. There’s also a rebate for replacing a highly polluting vehicle with a new or used electric vehicle. This means that a new electric or hybrid passenger vehicle could end up being a very sound financial investment. 

In addition to the incentives offered by the BC Government, there’s also the Federal electric car rebate for Canada which offers point of sale rebates of up to $5000 for a purchased or leased electric vehicle. The CleanBC rebate program is also offering a $350 rebate on the installation of eligible Level 2 EV charger models.

Do I Really Need an Electric Vehicle Charger at Home?

EV chargers are being added across the country and the infrastructure is changing, especially as the Canadian Government offers incentives to large corporations like 7-Eleven to have EV chargers installed. However, there are still not enough EV chargers to ensure that you can head out in your electric vehicle and know for sure that you’ll be able to find an electric vehicle charger on your way. What’s more, you’ll need to figure out which one of several apps to use to charge your car.

The speed and charge time can also vary with different EV charging stations. If you haven’t planned your trip to a T, you could very well be stuck 4-6 hours waiting for your vehicle to charge at a level 2 charger. What if there’s a line and you want to be able to drive to another station, but don’t have enough juice to make it? You’re stuck waiting, potentially a very long time. Not so convenient.

Until hyper speed electric vehicle chargers become widely available, fully charging is a bit of an event. Some Level 2 and 3 charging stations are also charging for use now. Why pay a third party for electricity when you can charge your car at home, on your terms? It’s much simpler than you may think.

What are Level 1, 2 and 3 Chargers?

Level 1 EV chargers 

Perfect for daily drivers that don’t need to cover a large range. Think to and from work, to the grocery store, school drop off, etc. This is the slowest charger that works on a standard 120-volt outlet. Level 1 EV chargers work very well for hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles with small batteries. These generally come with the vehicle and are plug and play, meaning installation isn’t needed unless you need an outlet added or moved. 

Level 1 chargers take around 16 hours to replenish an empty battery and offer 0-16 kilometres per hour of charge time.

Level 2 EV chargers 

The next step up and are the chargers most often used in public spaces like shopping malls and workplaces. They are also highly suited for residential use because they work on 208-volt to 240-volt power supply. Level 2 charges vehicles, including Teslas, much faster than Level 1, charging an empty battery overnight. Level 2 at 40 amps is the sweet spot for most homeowners because a 40-amp charge is plenty without requiring significant electrical upgrades, heavier wiring and hardwiring the charger.

Level 2 chargers take between 6 and 8 hours to fully charge an empty battery and offer 16-32 kilometres per hour of charge time.

Level 3 EV chargers

Offer the fastest charging (think Tesla Superchargers, DC Fast Chargers or CHAdeMO Chargers) with a minimum requirement of 400 volts. These are not often seen in residential installations because the cost of the charger and installation (not to mention the required electrical upgrade, if possible) can often exceed the cost of the electrical vehicle!

Level 3 chargers take only 30 minutes to charge a battery to 80% and in just 10 minutes it offers 65-80 kilometres of range.

Electric Car Charging Station for Home – What are the Benefits?

Having an electric vehicle charger at home is extremely convenient

It’s like when you plug your smartphone in before you go to bed. You plug it in, knowing that it’ll be fully charged and ready for another busy day tomorrow. The same goes for your vehicle. You can keep a basic daily charging schedule. You can plug it in when you get home from work and let the battery recharge for your morning commute. You never have to worry about running out of gas or having to scout out a charging station when your battery level drops lower than you’d planned. Of course, since your battery charges while you’re at home living your life, you’re not stuck waiting in a public space for your vehicle to be ready to drive again. Also, most electric vehicles have a proprietary app that let you monitor battery usage.

Having an EV Charger at Home Can Protect Your Battery

When you charge your batteries (whether it’s your laptop, your phone, tablet, or any other device) partially for an extended period of time, the battery is eventually not going to be able to hold a charge well. As with a combustion engine, if you’re putting in $10 of gas at a time, your engine isn’t going to be too happy with you. If you’re visiting public charging stations and only charging for long enough to drive the range you need, the battery in your EV can become less efficient and have a shorter life span. When you can charge your vehicle in full every time, your battery will charge more effectively and more efficiently.

Having an EV Charger at Home is Economical

We know that having a whole other electrical component installed can seem daunting. However, being able to pay a flat fee (for installation) and never again pay for a charging station will save quite a bit in the long run. You’re using the same power source that runs your home appliances, so your bill may increase a little bit. This is to be expected and can be remedied by finding new ways to lower your cost of power and energy consumption. One simple way to save is to let your EV charge overnight and take advantage of off-peak utility pricing.

There are many ways to reduce your home’s carbon footprint and energy consumption and it can often be as simple as making your home work smarter, with smart thermostats, smart lighting, Energy Star appliances and more. 

At Kobalt Systems, we have a whole laundry list of energy saving solutions to help offset any spikes in power consumption caused by charging your EV at home. Having an EV charger and having other energy saving solutions is also great for your home’s resale value.

Having an EV Charger at Home is Safer

You get to charge your vehicle in the privacy of your property instead of in the public eye in a parking lot, exposed to potential vandalism, theft, poor weather and more. The actual charging process is completely safe too, since our master electricians will recommend the most suitable EV charger for your home, solve any issues that could prevent having enough voltage for a charger, complete the installation and of course, educate you on how to use it safely and efficiently.  We can recommend the level of charger best suited to your needs. In most cases, we recommend level 2 EV chargers for residential use. These need a 240-volt circuit, which is the same voltage level needed to run the chest freezer in your garage.

How Much Does It Cost to Have an Electric Car Charger Installed at Home?

The cost for installation will vary depending on the charger you need, what needs to be done, where the charger is to be installed and whether a dedicated circuit is required. It can also depend on whether your home’s electrical service needs to be upgraded. 

Generally, a charger installation includes the charger, materials, permit and labour. For many homeowners, we can install the EV charger directly in the garage. This is the easiest and most cost-effective way. 

There are a few things that determine the individual pricing, including where the electrical panel is located, the type of breakers your electrical panel requires and where you’d like the charger to be installed. The length of cable needed will also influence the overall cost, since the cable is very expensive. 

Can my Electrical Service Handle an EV Charger?

To determine whether or not you will need an electrical upgrade, our experts can do an electrical load calculation and take into account the current and future power requirements for your home.

What Brands of EV Chargers Can Be Installed? What Type Should I Buy?

At Kobalt Systems, we sell Flo brand EV chargers with a universal J-plug. These level 2 chargers are Canadian made and built to withstand the elements and wear and tear. 

We will also install Grizzl-E or Tesla EV chargers that you have purchased yourself. The Flo and Grizzly brands can now be used with adapters to charge Tesla vehicles. As well, Tesla has now added an adapter to be able to charge other electric vehicles, so there are some really great options out there. 

Can an EV Charger Charge Two Cars at Once?

If you own more than one EV, you can charge two cars at the same time as long as you have a charging station with more than one plug. Grizzl-E offers a great dual charging station for home use, with “intelligent power sharing.” 

Flo offers the Flo Home X5, which allows you to add a second EV charging station on the same breaker. However, you will always need to take power consumption into account. No two installations are exactly alike, so if dual charging is your goal, this is something we’d be happy to discuss with you.

Contact Kobalt Systems in Victoria BC For All Your EV Charger Needs

When you’ve made the investment of switching to an electric vehicle, it makes a lot of sense to complete the package with an EV charging outlet for your home. This will eliminate time spent waiting in line for public chargers, time spent waiting for your vehicle to charge and eliminate any fees for charging, depending on which electric vehicle charger you’ve opted to use. 

When you factor in the government rebates off the equipment and installation of an EV charger, it’s well worth this initial investment to create your own EV charging station right at home.

An electric vehicle charger is an important investment for your home and for your new vehicle. If you’re considering adding an electric vehicle charger to your home, contact us today. Our team of experienced electricians at Kobalt Systems will be happy to take care of everything needed for your new electric vehicle charger.

residential electrical

Designing a Residential Electrical System with Room for Future Growth

Future-Proof Your Residential Electrical System for Safety and Optimal Performance

 

Residential electrical systems should always be designed to account for future growth. This is because when you design your electrical system, you are also planning your family’s needs for the next 5-10 years.

Most older homes start with 100 amps. In many homes, this doesn’t cut it anymore. Whether you’re adding more appliances or smart devices, your residential electrical usage will inevitably increase as your family grows and changes. Newer, average-sized family homes are often designed with a full 200-amp system to accommodate any future changes.  

Why Would My Home Need an Electrical Service Upgrade?

Adding a suite is a popular change for many homeowners. Whether it’s a mortgage helper or a space for your in-laws, the addition of a suite can really strain an already cramped electrical system. With the addition of a suite comes appliances, like an electric hot water tank, electric washing machines and dryers, electric ovens and electric dishwashers. There will also be lighting, a tv or two, a computer or two and small appliances to consider. All these items draw from the main power source, so it’s easy to see how quickly a residential system can become overloaded.

This overload can (and will) cause the breaker to trip on a regular basis. You might start noticing that the breaker for your hood mount microwave is tripping when you use your hair dryer, or your bedroom lights turn off or flicker when the washing machine starts up. Not only is this frustrating for all occupants, an overloaded system and the resulting voltage drops can damage your valuable electronics and appliances. Major appliances should all be on their own dedicated circuit which should prevent breakers from tripping.

When your home needs a residential electrical service upgrade, it can be daunting. At Kobalt Systems, our journeymen electricians and other industry experts are here to make sure your residential electrical upgrade is done perfectly and professionally. We will work tirelessly to make the whole process as seamless as possible for you and your family.

Preparing for a Residential Electrical Service Upgrade 

We’ll make sure that your system meets all current codes, standards, and safety requirements. This includes making it compliant with the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC). An example of this might be installing arc fault circuit breakers in your home’s breaker panel or installing GFCIs in bathrooms where water could potentially come into contact with an energized electrical device. If you own an older home, you will need to have any knob and tube or aluminum wiring or anything else out of code upgraded before work can proceed. This is because this type of wiring can’t handle increased loads. 

How Does Kobalt Systems Upgrade a Residential Electrical System?


We start by…

-Determining your wants and needs

When you contact us about an electrical upgrade, we’ll discuss in detail where branch circuits or receptacles should be added around the home. We’ll also work with you to map out where they should be located. If you’ve been finding that you’re using extension cords and multiple power strips, you’ll be much better off with a handful of new outlets. We can recommend where outlets may best suit your needs, depending on the appliances and items you want to use.

-Getting permits and upgrade requests

Once you’ve approved our estimate and are ready to schedule, we’ll make sure we have all the necessary permits and upgrade requests from the City of Victoria, the TSA (Technical Safety Authority) and BC Hydro. We’ll also arrange for a thorough inspection and sign off on the completed work.

– Adding a sub panel

First, we install a sub-panel in your basement or other infrequently used space. Sometimes electric panels will be installed in a garage, in a guest room or in the den. We will label the main breaker switch at the top of the sub panel as “main power.” In some cases, we may just install a larger panel. It will all depend on your specific needs and what will make more sense for your home.

– Rewiring the house

Yes, we are going to need to get into your walls. We try to be as minimally invasive as possible, but since your wiring is in your walls, we need to open the walls in the areas that require upgrading. We recommend having your electrical system upgraded during a renovation. If you’ve planned to upgrade your kitchen, for instance, it will already be in shambles. Perfect time to get this job done! 

Some homeowners opt to add on their desired renovation after they’ve decided to upgrade their electrical service. They figure, the walls are opened, let’s go for it. A renovation combined with electrical service upgrade is a really great way to minimize disruptions while increasing the value of your home. 

– Distributing wiring to the rooms

Depending on what you’ve requested and what we’ve mapped out, the new wiring will be distributed to the rooms of your home and connected to new and existing switches, outlets and fixtures. If you’re working from home these days, you might want additional outlets for extra computers, lamps, modems and more. Rather than cram all these devices into the rooms’ only two outlets, we can do it up right with strategically placed outlets.

How Much Does a Residential Electrical System Upgrade Cost?

Because a residential electrical system upgrade is an undertaking involving time for labour, tools, construction and careful planning, the cost starts at a low of about $3,000 and can reach $20,000 or more. 

The cost will depend on the scope of the project, whether any attics or crawl spaces are involved, or if it’s just a much larger than average home. 

The good news is that Kobalt Systems offers a way to finance your electrical wiring upgrade through FinanceIt. With ZERO down and options for monthly or bi-weekly payments, you can have these important electrical upgrades taken care of sooner than you think.

Is your home struggling to keep up with your family’s increased demand on the electricity supply? Do you experience any of the following?

  • Circuit breakers tripping or fuses blowing
  • Flickering or dimming lights when another appliance is turned on
  • Outlets or switches are warm or sparking
  • You need to keep adding more power bars or extension cords because there aren’t enough outlets

If you can relate to any of these, give our team at Kobalt Systems a call at (250) 213-3788 or send us an email any time. Our fully licensed and ticketed team serves Victoria and the Capital Region as well as southern Vancouver Island. We’ll be happy to evaluate your home’s electrical needs and get you set up for future growth. 

digital lighting control system

The Benefits of Digital Lighting Control Systems

How Modern Lighting Control Systems Can Improve Employee Morale and Productivity

 In the world of business when you’re trying to run a company or get things off the ground, custom lighting may not be at the top of the list of priorities. However, proper lighting holds more value for your business than you might realize, and it is something to take into careful consideration. 

Studies have shown that the right lighting control system can hold many benefits, particularly for your employees and teams. Read on, and we’ll tell you all about these systems and why you should get one installed.

What Is a Digital Lighting Control System?

A lighting control system is a smart, network-based control system that allows your lights to be managed via communication between various system inputs and outputs. This is done using one or more central control devices. They are mainly used for indoor and outdoor lighting of commercial and industrial buildings, but can also be used for residential homes as well. 

These systems help to ensure that the right amount of light is used when and where it’s needed. Due to their energy-saving nature, they are sometimes also referred to as Smart Lighting.

So, simply put, a basic commercial lighting control system will enable the user(s) to determine the light output, turn on the light in specific areas when or where it’s needed, and turn them off when no one’s there anymore. But they can also be more technical than that! 

Technology has now advanced to where you can control details such as the exact colour of the light for a specified space, so you can have one setting in the break room and a completely different one for the working area with computers. You can also set your lighting to automatically dim or turn off when an area is unoccupied.

Not to mention you can monitor your energy usage, provide performance reports, and set off alarms if levels aren’t correct, among other settings. It can be completely customized!

Why are Digital Lighting Control Systems Important? 

Not only do digital lighting control systems conserve energy and save money by only being used when they’re needed, but it turns out that the right lighting can actually boost the productivity of your employees, too.

According to Buildings.com, Purdue University and JLL conducted a two-year study that looked into the effects of customizable indoor environment conditions.

First, the researchers installed sensors in the workplace of study that measured the temperature, light level, and occupant actions as the employees/participants went about their eight-hour day.

The participants were split into two separate groups: one used Purdue-designed customizable desktop computer controls that gave them individual control of the light and temperature, and the other group was left with the typical thermostat and light switches mounted on the wall.

The study found that the first group, who were given the customizable controls on their laptops or computers, were more engaged than the second group with the standard controls. They relied more on natural daylight than artificial lighting, and with the temperature and lighting just as they needed, they also reported stronger levels of productivity and performed better in cognitive tests than the other group.

It’s a fascinating study, and a simple search online will lead you to many other articles that study this topic and back the claim, such as this article from FacilityManagement.com, and the work of Jennifer Veitch. Ultimately, a customizable lighting control system is crucial and a worthwhile investment, and a win-win for everybody involved. Who doesn’t want that?

Other Benefits of Digital Lighting Control Systems

In case you’re not quite convinced, here are some other benefits of a control system that you might not have thought about:

  1. Increased safety. Think of a bathroom that switches on the lights when you open the door and walk in, allowing you to see the large puddle of water on the floor and prevent you from slipping. Appropriate lighting around computers can also help prevent vision damage, migraines and headaches, and improve overall mental health and morale.
  2. Change the appearance of a space. Adjusting your lighting can change the way a room looks and feels, change the atmosphere, reduce glare and overall, match the chosen functions of the space. 
  3. Enhanced efficiency with LED lighting. Most commercial lighting systems use LED, which is much more energy-efficient. This can lead to a 60% reduction in electrical overhead costs for medium-to-large size businesses, and a 30% decrease in lighting costs.
  4. Increased security in the workplace environment. This is particularly noteworthy if you’re in a high-crime area. Automated lighting is proven to deter thieves, and prevent other crimes from happening. A thief won’t want to be identified when the light suddenly turns on above them!
  5. They’re flexible to use with very user-friendly controls. A digital lighting control system might seem to be a hefty undertaking, but it is worthwhile when you consider the positive impact it will have on your employees and the business overall. It’s simple to adjust the lighting to your preferences, just turn the lights ON and OFF with a switch or adjust light up and down using a dimmer. 

If you’re looking to install a commercial lighting system for your business, contact us today at Kobalt Systems. We are your electrical and lighting experts in Victoria, BC, and we offer fast and friendly service with top-tier products. Learn more about us and check out our services page to see what we have to offer, or you can call us directly at 250-213-3788.

residential exterior lighting for deck

Choosing the Right Exterior Lighting and Motion Sensors/Timers for Your Home

Outdoor Lighting is an Integral Part of Home Security

Exterior lighting is an important aspect of the design of any building. Lighting not only enhances a property’s appearance but also its security. Outdoor lighting is a key element in making the building look welcoming. It also plays a significant role in deterring theft and ensuring safety for your home and family. At Kobalt Systems, our experienced exterior lighting installers are also journeymen electricians specialized in installing:

  • Landscape Lighting
  • Stair and Pathway Safety Lighting
  • Pool and Hot Tub Deck Lighting
  • Motion Sensor Lighting 
  • Garden Shed Lighting
  • Outdoor Kitchen & Barbecue Lighting

In this post, we’ll explore the different kinds of exterior lighting options that are available and explain why the right outdoor lighting system can make all the difference.

Active and Passive Outdoor Lighting

Did you know that there are two types of occupancy sensors?  

Passive Outdoor Lighting

The most common kind of motion sensor lighting is passive. These passive exterior lights are ones that “see” motion by detecting changes in infrared energy. When a sensor that’s attached to an outdoor lighting fixture senses a change in the environment and its temperature, it triggers the light to turn on. Warmer objects like animals, people, and cars are particularly easy to detect this way. Most of us are familiar with this type of lighting fixture.

Active Outdoor Lighting

Active motion detectors have a transmitter and receiver. They measure motion by detecting the amount of sound or radiation reflected back to the receiver. A transducer within the sensor acts as a sort of meeting point for the signal, and this is where the pulse is sent off and the echo is received back.

Where Should I Put Motion Lights in My Yard?

Where your motion lights are installed will depend on which areas you want to secure and the design of your home. It’s typically best to mount motion sensor lights six to ten feet above the ground, positioned so movement will be picked up across the sensitivity zone instead of directly at the detector. 

For instance, you could have the sensitivity zone cover a portion of your front lawn to have intruders detected long before they get to an entry point of the house. 

Exterior motion lights are most effective when they are positioned to cover the walkway(s) leading up to your front or back door, and your driveway. You want those lights to come on when you arrive home at night so you’re not going from your vehicle to your house in the dark. It’s also a good idea to light up your decks or patio, and any other potentially unsafe locations, such as an outdoor stairway or a swimming pool.

To be extra secure, we recommend placing a motion light at every approach/entrance to your home, whether it be your fence gates, dark corners of your lawns, or even around bushes and trees. Proper outdoor lighting is one of the best and most inexpensive ways to discourage intruders.

Motion Detectors vs. Timers

There are two options for your exterior lighting: motion detectors and lights on timers set to go on at intervals you choose. Both have their advantages, but here we’ll break it down into a pros and cons list for both.

Pros for motion sensors:

  • Highly energy efficient. They only turn on when needed, so there’s no need to go and turn off the lights before you go to bed.
  • Hands-free.
  • Easy deterrent against crime. An intrusion is far less likely to occur or continue when all the lights suddenly pop on.

Cons for motion sensors:

  • Lack of control.
  • If you have pets or there are animals nearby, you may notice your exterior lighting on a lot more than you had planned.

Pros for lighting timers:

  • Convenience. By setting your lighting to only be on for a certain amount of time and time of day, you’re wasting a lot less energy (and money!).
  • If your hours and schedule are consistent, this can make a big difference for efficiency and hands-free, worry-free lighting.
  • Safety. Setting your lighting to be on starting at dusk can give you a bit of peace of mind, and keep your home safer. 

Cons for lighting timers:

  • Not as energy-efficient. Lights may be on when nothing is happening and no one is outside, so they might not be needed.

Either of these options for security lights are very useful. Of course, LED lights are very energy efficient compared to traditional incandescent bulbs. When in doubt, you can always get the best of both worlds by setting up a variety of both motion-sensing lights and timed lights. 

Dusk to Dawn Outdoor Lights

These lights get their name, “dusk to dawn,” because they are placed in your yard or garden and turn on after the sun has set and turn off once it rises again in the morning. Along with the time-controlled and motion-activated lights, there are two other types of fixtures to make note of.

Photocell and solar outdoor lights

Photocell lights are ignited by the changing of natural light, meaning that they automatically change when daylight shifts to night. They also adjust when the nights get longer or shorter with the seasons. Some contain motion sensors, as well, so they sometimes count under that category.

Smart/connected outdoor lights

These are just like the time-controlled lights, as you can set the time you want them to turn on or off. The difference is that with smart lights you can control and schedule your exterior lighting with an app on your smartphone or other devices, like a smart home system. Smart lights can be controlled via Bluetooth or WiFi, so you can have complete control no matter where you are or what device you happen to have with you. All you need is the adjoining downloadable app. (This is also the case for smart light bulbs.)

Exterior Lights Provide Style and Security

By now, you probably have an idea of what kind of exterior lighting you want for your outdoor space. While security is your number one priority, the light fixture you choose can also add some extra style and curb appeal to your house, day or night. Depending on what light levels and light coverage you’d prefer, what power source you’d prefer to use, whether you’d like a built-in timer or smart functions to have complete control of your lights, there are many options for outdoor lighting.

Here at Kobalt Systems, we are experts in home lighting and smart technology. We can help you with the installation of a complete custom outdoor lighting system for your home in and around Victoria, BC. We also offer residential alarm systems with the option for indoor / outdoor security cameras, motion sensors, smart locks and more. No matter the size of the job, our team of highly trained professionals are here to help and we take pride in our integrity and expertise. Check out our reviews page to see what our clients are saying, then contact us today to get started on your innovative new exterior lighting project.

Home Security Add-Ons

Boost Your Home Security with Our Wide Selection of Innovative Features

In a previous post about home and business security, we discussed how important it is to keep your residential and commercial properties secure and walked you through the security packages that we offer.

Did you know that we also provide hardware add-ons that you can include in your residential security package? In addition to the basic cameras and motion detectors that we all know, these add-ons are great gadgets that will further protect your family and your possessions, and while they are affordable, they are worth the additional investment. Many of these are devices that you may not have considered before, so we’d like to walk you through them and tell you a bit about these products so you can get the most out of your residential security system.

1. Window and Door Sensor

Window & Door Sensor: Know when every entrance is open or closed

We’ve all been there. We left the house in a rush and thought to ourselves, “wait, did I close the door, or shut the window?” It’s easy to keep an eye on your home when you’re not there with a quick check on your home security app on your phone. One look and you’ll know if every entry point is open or closed.

2. Smart Thermostat

Remember that heatwave this summer? It was a struggle for many of us to keep our homes cool, and oftentimes a fan just won’t cut it. Or, as winter approaches, maybe we want to ensure that our house is warmed up for when we arrive home after a long day. In either case, the smart thermostat will allow you to control your home’s temperature from anywhere. (This is also a great relief for our pets in the summer while we’re at work!) 

3. Smart Lock

The smart lock will allow you to set up a code that you can use to provide access to your home while you’re away. Coded doors are a great solution if you have a friend, family member, or a neighbour who might require access to your home, or maybe even your shed in the backyard.

4. Smart Garage Door Opener

Garage_Door

Smart Garage Door Opener: Close your doors from anywhere and feel reassured

If you can’t remember whether you closed your garage door earlier, this door opener can do that for you, no matter where you are. With the click of a button, you can rest assured that your garage and your home are secure.

5. Motion Sensor

This handy gadget will detect activity around your home, and it will alert you whenever something suspicious comes around. So, when you hear a strange sound, you’ll know it’s not just you!

6. Glass Break Sensor

With this sensor, you’ll be alerted right away if a burglar attempts to break into your home by breaking or smashing any windows or glass. With this device and a security camera, you’ll be equipped to deter or even find the perpetrator and keep your home safe. This is a great option for securing sliding glass doors.

7. Carbon Monoxide Detector

This is one that many don’t think about, but it’s an important one. Carbon monoxide is an unseen hazard that can creep up in any home, and this carbon monoxide detector will protect you from that. This device will alert you if it detects any carbon monoxide in your home, so you don’t have to worry.

8. Flood Sensor 

This flood sensor will notify you of any emergencies that could result in damages to the property. You might consider putting one near your hot water tank to let you know if the tank started to leak or fail.

9. Outdoor Wi-Fi Security Camera

OutdoorCamera

Outdoor Wi-Fi Security Camera: Have a full view of your home

Have full range of view to the outside of your home with this little add-on. You’ll be able to see who is walking up to your door, such as the delivery person, or you can even check on the kids as they play outside on the driveway or the lawn.

10. Smart Smoke Sensor

Maybe the kids are baking or cooking something at home on the weekend or after school. This smart smoke sensor will help to give you some peace of mind, as you will get an alert as soon as any smoke is detected.

11. Slimline Wi-Fi Doorbell Camera

Not only will you be able to see who is at the door, but you also have the ability to have a two-way conversation from wherever you are. So, you can talk to the pizza or Amazon delivery person and tell them to leave your items wherever you wish!

12. Siren

With the siren, you’ll be able to hear the alarm from any room in the house—so you don’t have to worry about missing it if you’re in a certain part of the house, like the attic.

13. Touchscreen Security Panel

The touchstone security panel will allow you to easily control your security system and connected smart home devices, all in one spot. Now you don’t have to worry about complicated buttons or techie jargon when you’re in a rush or in an emergency.

14. Hardware Panel

This panel will connect your existing devices and sensors seamlessly. 


While this list contains many of our products, you can see our full list of available security add-ons and see what they look like by checking out our
products page.

Contact us today at Kobalt Systems, and we’ll be happy to get you started with a new residential security system and the add-ons you need for your home. Based in Victoria, BC, we have highly experienced staff who will provide top-quality service and make sure your system is properly set up and ready to go in no time. For more information, learn about our services or call us directly at (250) 213-3788