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


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


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

solar panel installation victoria bc

Solar Panel Installation Can Lead to Big Savings

Advantages of Installing a Solar Energy System

Solar energy is a great way to reduce your electricity bills. Installing solar panels on the roof of your home or business will allow you to generate free, clean and renewable power for use in your house. The savings from this are significant as it reduces your monthly bill by up to 70%! If you’re looking at ways to cut down on your electric costs, then solar could be an ideal solution. Here we look at how solar works, what benefits there are, and why people choose to install them.

Solar Energy Definition

What Is Solar Energy and How Does it Generate Power?

The sun provides us with all our energy needs – without its rays we would not survive. However, most of that energy comes in the form of heat rather than light which means that only around 5-10% of sunlight reaches the Earth’s surface. This leaves 90-95% of the available energy trapped within the atmosphere where it cannot reach ground level. The photovoltaic cells in solar panels can gather and store this energy for immediate or later use.

What Type of Solar Panel Do I Need?

It’s your choice. All solar panels are made up of tiny cells, called solar cells or photovoltaic cells. There are two main types of photovoltaic cells in solar panels: crystalline silicon and thin film PV. Crystalline silicon cells have been used since the 1970s and were originally developed for military purposes. They consist of a single layer of semiconductor material sandwiched between two conductive electrodes.

Thin film technology was introduced in the 1980s and uses multiple layers of different materials including metals, oxides, nitrides and polymers. Both technologies work using the same principle – when exposed to sunlight, electrons move from one electrode to another creating an electric current. Solar panels made of thin film PV are the most popular today, since they’re more economical and easier to install. However, with the lower cost comes a lower efficiency. To learn more, take a look at this excellent post on the types of solar panels at Solar Reviews.com

Why Do People Install Solar Panels on Their Homes or Businesses?

There are many reasons why people decide to invest in solar panel installations. Some may want to offset rising fuel prices while others see it as a long-term investment option. Whatever the reason, if you’re considering investing in solar, it pays to know exactly what you need to consider first. You should also take time to research the best options available and find out about any incentives offered by local authorities. Once you’ve decided to go ahead, it’s important to get quotes from several companies who offer solar installation services. 

How Much Can I Save By Having Solar Panels Installed?

Generally speaking, the return on investment is very good. Thanks to the Canada Greener Homes Grant, you could even be eligible for thousands of dollars in rebates for the purchase and installation of solar panels and energy-storing batteries. 

You could also be eligible for a rebate for improving the energy efficiency of your home through the Better Homes BC and Better Buildings BC programs when renovating or building a home or business. Renewable energy products are PST exempt too. Own a business? You could be eligible for tax credits as well. 

Best of all, you’ll see continued savings after installation, since BC Hydro will credit you when your energy production exceeds the amount of energy used. Combined with the use of smart home products, today’s solar panels go a long way towards creating a net-zero building that generates more power than it uses. 

Solar Panels Can Help Save on Home Maintenance Costs Too

Did you know that solar panels can increase the life expectancy of your roof? Roof replacement is a major project for many homeowners and one that comes with a high price tag. 

A longer life span for your roof can generate additional savings that many people don’t realize. In our opinion, it’s another tick mark for the “pros” column when you’re trying to decide whether to invest in solar. 

The reason is simple: UV rays degrade traditional roofing materials, so having the solar panels cover the roof and absorb the sun’s rays translates to a longer-lasting roof. If you absolutely can’t have solar panels mounted on your roof, you can still use a ground-mounted solution, as directed by a geotechnical specialist and photovoltaic technician, who can advise on the optimal placement to take advantage of all that clean energy.

Will My Solar Panels Work Even When It’s Not Sunny?

The amount of energy produced depends on factors like location, weather conditions and other variables. With the changes in our climate in Victoria BC and increased hours of summer sunshine, it’s a good idea to start harnessing all that solar energy to power your home or business. Even if it’s cloudy, your solar panels will still be working hard for you. 

Today’s solar panels are up to 3x more effective than earlier models and have much better low-light performance than they used to. On a rainy Victoria day, you can expect about 20% of peak output, which is just fine when you have stored solar energy as well. This 20% can drastically reduce your energy consumption and your average cost on your electric bills. 

Solar panel installation at your home or business is a smart economical decision, provided you have the right conditions and adequate sunlight. Not sure if you want to go full-tilt on a whole-home solar power set up? Some of our clients have chosen to use solar energy to heat their pools and hot tubs, reducing the impact these creature comforts have on their energy bills. As highly experienced electricians, we can take care of the installation of your solar panels, so you can start saving on your energy bills immediately. For more information, email Kobalt Systems or call us at (250) 213 – 3788.

home and business security systems

Is Now the Time to Rethink Your Home or Commercial Security Setup?

Security Systems Provide Protection and Peace of Mind in One Package

One of the pride and joys of our business is our advanced security systems that we offer for local residential and commercial properties. We believe that a home is a precious place where you and your family should feel safe and relaxed, and it should be protected by only the best! The same can apply to one’s business, too. As a small business ourselves, we know how hard you’ve worked to build your business from the ground up – no matter how big or small it may be. A strong security system is a smart investment to protect what you’ve grown and to stay in control, even if you’re miles away.

We are partnered with Alarm.com to offer the best and most trusted service in the industry, so you can trust that you’ll be getting a top-quality system installed by one of our friendly and professional technicians.

Let’s start with the residential security system. Here are some of the features:

Indoor and Outdoor Home Security Video Monitoring

One of the prime features included in our home security system is video surveillance for outside and inside your home.

This enables you to see exactly who is ringing your doorbell, and provides you with custom alerts to focus on people, vehicles and animals, and also specific areas of your property. You only have to get alerts for what you want. You can see when your kids or family members get home, or even check in remotely with a video call through your phone or tablet.

It also allows you to not only see but talk to any visitors at your door, so you can allow them access and unlock the front door for them through your phone’s app. A very handy feature for when keys might go missing, or you want a delivery brought inside.

Hear something outside in the night? You’ll be able to see if it’s an intruder or simply a raccoon looking for scraps.

A Security System with Easy Home Automation

Other features include easy home automation that you can control no matter where you are. Not only can our system provide video surveillance and lock control, but you can also control temperature settings, lighting, fire safety controls, and water usage/protection. So you can rest assured that your home is always running smoothly and operating at its safest, most environmentally friendly (and cost-effective) levels.

A Unique, Stress-Free Home Security System

You may be thinking that this is a system that involves multiple apps and complicated systems that are hard work to stay on top of, but we have good news for you! Our custom home security system makes it simple with an easy, all-in-one system that is a breeze to control and does all the monitoring for you, 24/7, 365 days a year.

Along with your control panel, the Alarm.com app is all you need to set your controls; and no matter how advanced you want to get, it always remains uncomplicated and straightforward to use.

In the event of an emergency, your monitoring service will alert your local police, fire department, and/or an ambulance. It can also detect smoke and carbon dioxide levels, and will alert you if they become unsafe.

Ok, so that’s some of the features of our home security system. Now, let’s talk about a commercial security system for your business.

Why Consider a Business Security System?

The better question is why wouldn’t you? A security system will not only protect you and your staff from potential dangers such as theft and other customer incidents, but you’ll be able to monitor and control your settings from wherever you are, just like the residential systems. By being able to manage your settings at all times, you’ll actually be saving costs in addition to keeping an eye on your business.

Commercial-Grade Systems for Multiple Locations

Our commercial security systems will grow along with you, so if you have multiple locations or you’re a larger corporation, never fear. We have custom plans for both small business and larger scale companies. You’ll be able to view the cameras for all your locations at once, and you’ll be able to control the settings for each of them on the Enterprise Dashboard, which you can access on either your app or web dashboard. Once there you can manage everything from system status and video feeds, to employee access and temperature monitoring.

Secure Platform

Our alarm systems have advanced technology that updates software automatically, and provides end-to-end encryption and two-factor authentication. Therefore, you can trust that the system is completely secure.

Costs for Residential / Commercial Security Systems

The price is dependant on the size and scale of your home or business, and whether or not you decide to enter into a contract with us—but you can check out both our plans and pricing and services page to get an estimate. We’ll be able to give you an exact quote during a consultation, and we can work with you to establish a payment plan that works for you.

Hopefully, this has inspired you to get the ball rolling and set up a security system for your home or business. It may seem like a costly investment, but so was your business, and it’s worth it to know that your loved ones and your home is safe and protected. Contact us at Kobalt Systems today to inquire and book a consultation, and we’ll be happy to get you set up!

wiring a hot tub - electrical

Wiring a Swimming Pool, Hot Tub or Spa? Our Electricians Can Do It All

Trust your Hot Tub Wiring or Swimming Pool Wiring to a Professional

Yes, we do swimming pool / hot tub wiring. In the last few years, pools and hot tubs / spas have become more popular than ever for homeowners. As we spend more time at home than ever before, we begin to rely more on our homes for those extra luxuries, like having swimming pools and hot tubs right in our backyard. Having your own pool is like having a party spot ready to go all the time.

It’s also an excellent way to wear the kids out on those endless summer days and to float your way through heat waves, like that intense heat dome we experienced in late June. That one will go down in the memories of British Columbians everywhere as everyone flocked to the rivers, lakes and ocean.

Heat wave aside, if you’re reading this, you’re either shopping for a pool or hot tub, or you’re approaching the installation stage. Whether you’ve chosen an in-ground pool, above ground pool, plug and play hot tub, or an extra large, extra luxurious spa model, electricity and water is a sensitive combination. It’s crucial to have the swimming pool / hot tub wiring done by professionals.

Do I Really Need a Professional for the Electrical Wiring of a Hot Tub or Pool?

Knowing what extra electrical safety precautions to follow means that a licensed electrician can install your pool or hot tub in the safest way possible. Note that in some municipalities, permits are required to install ANY type of pool or hot tub. Your local electrical inspector may require you to hire a licensed electrician.

It’s important to consider whether your home can support the additional load of a swimming pool or hot tub. Particularly for older homes or commercial buildings that could require an electrical service upgrade. This is something that will need to be taken care of to prevent disappointment and to prevent your new pool or hot tub from overloading your service. We can also take care of any connections to electrical components and extra amenities like solar panels used to power water heaters or lights.

For larger hot tubs or pools that require a 50-amp, 240v feed to power the motors, lights, to link to solar panels or other amenities, they’ll be hardwired to a junction box. The junction box is usually mounted in an access panel on the side or underneath the hot tub unit. 

Even though you can simply plug in a smaller, no-frills, hot tub to any standard 15-amp, 120v Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlet, we can make sure the outlet is properly grounded, then we can fix it if it’s not up to par. You’d be surprised how often we discover an exterior outlet that isn’t up to electrical codes and is unsafe for use anywhere near water.

What is a GFCI Outlet?

A GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) is used around the home and around any places where water is present (bathroom, spa room, swimming pool, etc.)

This can be in the form of a breaker feeding a circuit of outlets, or a separate device in your home. They often look like a regular outlet you’d have around your home, but with a reset button and a test button. The device can be connected to your house wiring differently from your normal outlets, protecting itself and other outlets downstream, electrically. The GFCI can block power during a ground fault in less than 1/40th of a second. This means that if you’ve accidentally dropped your radio into your hot tub, the power will be cut immediately. For best results, replace your GFCI outlets every 5-10 years since their useful lifespan is a max of 15 years. Another safety feature is the Disconnect Switch.

What’s the Disconnect Switch?

This all-important switch is located at least 5 feet away, usually in the form of a timer that lets you turn power to the hot tub or pool on or off.

You’ll see these in rec centres or resorts, usually in the form of a digital or analog timer on an adjacent wall. Ever noticed that you have to interrupt your soak to change the timer? That’s a safety feature because if anyone came in contact with part of the circuit while in the water and while operating the switch, they could potentially be electrocuted. This disconnect switch might be something that a general handyman or a DIY electrician may not know about. 

Regulations for Pools and Hot Tubs

Pools and hot tubs are often the hit of any neighbourhood and are the perfect addition to any block party. Regardless of whether the pool or spa is in-ground or above ground, certain municipal regulations need to be followed. Any overhead electrical lines or telecommunications lines must be a minimum clearance distance of 25’ (7.5m) above the water level and any ladders or diving boards, etc. 

If lines are lower, something as simple as a pool skimming net with a long metal handle could be dangerous. If you’ve got the option to install the pool away from these lines, that’s your best bet. In some cases, BC Hydro may be able to relocate the hydro lines for an additional cost.

What About Underground Wires?

You’ve got plans for the most feature-loaded pool deck money can buy. You’re planning for deck lighting, surround sound, maybe even a stunning waterfall lit up with LED’s. Electrical installations for these types of amenities need to be run at least 5’ from the outside edge of the pool or hot tub. Any wiring for the pool pumps, pool heater, interior lighting or filter can be attached to the pool or spa itself with no issues.

Wiring hot tubs, swimming pools and spas is a lot more complex than it looks. At Kobalt Systems, our technicians have combined decades of experience with pool and hot tub wiring, and they know exactly what your new swimming pool or hot tub needs.

From the gauge of wire to how to bring your vision for your new pool space to life, you can trust us to take care of your new investment and your safety. Contact Victoria-based Kobalt Systems today to inquire about the wiring of your new commercial or residential pool, hot tub or spa.

How a Whole House Generator Can Increase Your Home’s Value

A Generator for your Home is a Wise Investment

A whole house generator can increase your home’s value. In today’s heated housing market, it could mean the difference between the sale of your house or the sale of the house down the block. A whole house generator can increase your property value and provide you with total peace of mind during a potentially disruptive power outage. Don’t be left in the dark during the next power outage!

In this post, we’ll walk you through all the basics of a whole house generator.

What is a Whole House Generator?

A whole house generator is installed outside of your home like an HVAC unit would be. It’s much larger and more powerful than a typical standby generator. It’s connected directly to the electrical channel of your house and can be powered by either diesel, liquid propane or natural gas. 

A whole house generator can keep your entire home running even during an extended outage. On Vancouver Island, the weather can be unpredictable, with high winds, torrential rain and even the occasional heavy snowfall. Because the climate is mild most of the time, the vast majority of Vancouver Islanders are underprepared or unprepared for a power outage.

Do you remember the December 2018 windstorm? More than 260,000 Vancouver Island residents were without power for days, or even weeks in some cases. It was a disaster and one that BC Hydro has said was the worst in its history. Those who had standby generators were able to power on major appliances or a few lights in their homes. Meanwhile, many of those without standby generators were dismayed to find that stores were completely sold out. It was a stressful and upsetting time for many families.

Now imagine having a whole house generator always ready to go. You’d never have to worry about losing power again!  Like others, you may already have a small portable generator. Maybe you’re one of many who bought one after that big outage in 2018. While portable generators are useful for keeping one or two appliances running for a short period of time, there’s nothing like a powerful whole house generator for keeping your entire home running smoothly.

How a Whole House Generator Can Increase Your Home’s Value

Now for the big question – will a whole home generator add value to your home? Yes. A whole house generator is a very smart investment. It can:

  • Lower your insurance rates
  • Make it faster and easier to sell your home
  • Save money by preventing losses caused by a power outage
  • Provide a solid return on investment

According to Generator Advisor, Consumer Reports reported that in some cases, your home’s value can increase by 3% to 5% after installing a whole house generator. According to Builder Online, in a 2018 Cost Vs. Value Report done by Remodeling Magazine, a $12,860 (USD) generator increases resale value by $6,940. This means you’d recoup about 54% of your investment.

Do I Need a Whole House Generator?

In an emergency where the power is out for days, you run the risk of losing all the contents of your fridge and freezer. You also risk running out of running water if your home relies on a well system, since the pump would be non-operational. With a whole house generator, you can keep all the necessary power functions of your home running strong, and even a few creature comforts depending on the size of the generator.

Other than storms, there are a few different scenarios when your home and surrounding area may lose power:

  • Blown transformer
  • Hydro equipment failure
  • Fire
  • Flood
  • Earthquake
  • Other natural disasters
  • Fallen powerline
  • Construction mishap

How Much Generator Do I Need?

The size and power requirements vary depending on the size of the house and what your individual needs are. If you’re looking for a generator that can provide coverage only for essential circuits, a generator with a small load capacity would work just fine. If you’re looking for full house coverage with maximum load capacity, you’d need a larger generator.
*Note: always check your local bylaws regarding the installation and operation of generators.

Some of our clients prefer to power the entire house, while others prioritize things like the fridge, freezer, hot water tank, sump pump and other bare necessities.

Consider Your Home-Based Business

If you run a home-based business or work from home, a whole house generator is an especially sound investment. This will ensure that your office equipment and other necessary equipment continues to work during a power failure. This can prevent loss due to circumstances that you can’t control, like a harsh winter storm or a failure of the power grid. Software engineers, dentists, lawyers and financial investors are just a few examples of professionals who may work from home and could incur costly losses if the power went out at their home-based business. For them, an outage can result in cancelled appointments, equipment malfunctions, lost time and of course, lost income.

At Kobalt Systems, our experts will work with you to determine what will work best for your needs. In the meantime, you can estimate the size of whole house generator you’d need using this simple formula:

  • Add the total watts to see how much power your home will use during an outage
  • Multiply the total watts by 1000 to find the kilowatts
  • Multiply the kilowatts by 1.25 to add a buffer and account for any future power needs

The answer will be the minimum generator capacity needed for your house

Investing in a Whole Home Generator from Kobalt Systems

At Kobalt Systems, we know that purchasing a whole house generator is a big investment. This is why our electrical experts are behind you every step of the way. From choosing the best option for your home to the final installation and periodic maintenance, you’ll be able to rely on Kobalt Systems for every aspect of your new generator.

When installing generators, we go the extra mile to weatherproof them by replacing all the surface screws with stainless steel screws. This helps to prevent rust and corrosion caused by the salty west coast air. The generators are also designed with a corrosion-proof enclosure. We pay special attention to all these details, so you don’t have to worry.

Whole house generators can increase your home’s value and give you peace of mind. You can choose to power the basic appliances or choose a generator to power all your favourite creature comforts. At Kobalt Systems, we supply and install top-quality generators in Victoria and surrounding areas as well as provide annual inspections to keep them running perfectly. With expert installation and servicing, you’ll have total peace of mind with Kobalt Systems. Contact our team today to discover the best whole house generator solution for your specific needs.


Electrical Wiring Upgrade

Does Your House Need an Electrical Wiring Upgrade?

Is The Electrical Wiring In Your Older Home A Safety Risk?

Your house will more than likely need an electrical wiring upgrade if it was built more than 20 years ago. This is because over time, electrical wiring can deteriorate or become damaged. Also, your electrical panel may no longer be able to support the increasing amount of energy needed to power your home effectively. 

Overloaded electrical systems and old or faulty wiring can increase the risk of electrical fire in your home. According to Makeitright.ca, an incredible 20% of all house fires in Canada are electrical fires caused by faulty wiring. To keep your family safe and sound, our team of electricians at Kobalt Systems recommends regular electrical inspections and an electrical wiring upgrade for older homes. 

What Should You Consider When Deciding Whether Your Home May Need An Electrical Service Upgrade?

How Old Is Your Home And What Type of Wiring Does It Have?

1940’s and Earlier
Homes built before the 1940’s may still have knob and tube wiring, which doesn’t feature a safety casing or ground wire, making it dangerous to work with.

1960’s- 1970’s 
In the 1960’s and 1970’s many homes were built with aluminum wiring, which can become a safety hazard as it ages. This is due to the tendency for its connections to loosen, which can cause electrical fires.

Older electrical wiring isn’t automatically dangerous or faulty, but be aware that some insurance companies won’t offer coverage if your home has knob and tube or aluminum wiring.

Have You Experienced Any Warning Signs?

Warning signs that your wiring may be faulty or overloaded include: 

  • Circuit Breakers trip or fuses blow regularly
  • Electrical panel is crackling or sparking 
  • Lights flicker or dim when you turn on another appliance
  • Outlets or switches are warm to the touch, discoloured or are sparking
  • You get a tingling sensation when touching an appliance
  • You still have two prong outlets in your home
  • There is a persistent burning smell in your home
  • There are no Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) in kitchens or bathrooms
  • You rely on power bars and extension cords due to having too few outlets

These are all signs that something is wrong in your electrical system and should not be ignored. In an emergency situation, you can always call a qualified electrician for help on our Kobalt Systems emergency line

Do You Have Enough Power For Your Home?

Older homes don’t have the electrical capacity that our modern lifestyles require. Historically, homes only needed around 60 amps to run all the necessary electronics and even as recently as 20 years ago, homes didn’t have the same requirements we need in our current technological age.

With all the electrical appliances, equipment and smart additions that modern families use, around 150 – 200 amps of electricity is needed to safely and successfully run them. If modern appliances are run on a system without enough voltage, they are at risk of damage.

What Will Your Power Needs Be In Years To Come?

When planning an electrical wiring upgrade, consider future-proofing your home’s electrical system to ensure it’s not only up to building codes but able to meet your growing needs.  Consider what other electrical requirements your household might have in the coming years:

  • Additional computers for a growing family
  • Entertainment equipment, smart televisions
  • An electric car
  • A hot tub or pool
  • An in-law suite or rental suite
  • Additional light fixtures
  • Additional electrical outlets and switches

Kobalt Systems Can Assess Your Electrical Wiring Upgrade Requirements

If answering the questions above has given you any concerns at all about the condition of your home electrical wiring, contact Kobalt Systems for an electrical wiring upgrade consultation today.

What Does an Electrical Wiring Upgrade Involve?

Kobalt System’s team of qualified journeyman electricians will visit your home and conduct a thorough electrical inspection to determine whether your type of wiring and current electrical system is safe and suited to your needs. Among other things, our electricians will search for loose connections, any issues with the circuit breaker panel, test outdoor outlets, determine the types of wiring and determine whether your entire house has proper grounding. 

If it is determined that you require new electrical wiring or additional panel amperage in your home, Kobalt Systems will work with you every step of the way.

Our Electrical Panel Upgrade Service Includes:

  • An electrical load test to determine your electrical needs
  • Working with customers to design a solution that fits your lifestyle and budget 
  • Coordination of permits and upgrade requests via the City of Victoria, Technical Safety Authority and BC Hydro and arrange for inspection and sign off of completed work
  • Minimal disruption when the work takes place at your home. Kobalt Systems offers ON TIME and SATISFACTION guarantees for its work. We arrive on time and leave everything tidy and clean

The thought of rewiring your home may be daunting. You’re likely concerned that it will be a long, messy and expensive task. Rest assured that our careful planning means your electrical upgrade can be completed with minimal disruptions on time and on budget.

While upgrading, you may also want to integrate some smart-home devices into your home. In-home smart technology is more popular and useful than ever and is increasingly built directly into newly built homes. 

Smart Home Technology Includes:

  • Home automation such as smart appliances
  • Lighting control such as motion sensors 
  • Climate control such as smart thermostats and fans
  • Smart security systems with Wi-Fi integration that can be monitored from anywhere on a phone or tablet
  • Safety sensing systems such as fire, carbon dioxide or electrical surge alarms that send alerts when triggered

Having smart-home technology and products in your home may lead to reduced insurance bills and can add value to your home too. You could also consider planning your rewiring project at the same time as that kitchen renovation you’ve been dreaming about!

Financing a big home improvement project like an electrical wiring upgrade can be an intimidating prospect, but Kobalt Systems can ease some of that concern by offering full financing through FinanceIt. With no money down and options for monthly or bi-weekly payments, there is no need to delay those important electrical safety upgrades.

If you have any concerns about electrical safety or capacity in your home, Kobalt System’s team of licensed electricians would be glad to visit your property and assess your needs for an electrical wiring upgrade. Based in Victoria, we’re glad to offer services to residents and businesses in the capital region and the South Island. Contact us today to find out more.

smart home technology

Smart Home Products Can Change Your Life

Smart Home Devices are Raising the Bar

Today’s smart home products are game-changers. They range from motion sensor lighting control to smart thermostats and everything in between, making it simple to complete everyday tasks, save on energy costs and provide convenience across the board.  Smart home technology is a trend that isn’t going anywhere!

In fact, according to Statista, 33 million North American homes rely on smart thermostats for temperature control. Popularity is also growing worldwide, particularly in Europe and Asia.

According to findings from InnoTech Today, “63% of homebuyers want smart locks and alarms, 63% want smart fans and thermostats, 58% want smart lights and 56% want smart carbon monoxide detectors.”

These stats show that even though the smart home market began with a surge of popularity in fun smart home gadgets like cheaper smart speakers and colour-changing lightbulbs from Amazon, homeowners are recognizing the incredible value that smart home products hold.

This benefit goes far beyond the initial entertainment value. In fact, a home that’s outfitted with smart locks, cameras and sensor systems on a Wi-Fi network are more likely to have a reduced insurance rate.

Not only do you get to enjoy the peace of mind knowing your whole family is protected, but you save on your premiums at the same time. For more information on this, talk to your insurance provider.


Popular Smart Home Products

Smart Home Automation

Automated Smart Home devices are individual appliances that are designed to make life simpler. Early examples of these would be dishwashers with a setting to delay the wash by 2 or 4 hours. Today, these automated devices have gotten much more advanced. Smart dishwashers and washing machines automatically adjust the amount of water usage and energy usage depending on the size of the load. They even “know” when energy consumption is lower in your area and automatically run during those times. Small appliances have joined the party too. Now you can find things like:

  • smart home technology - smart lightingAn automated pet feeder
  • An automated vacuum that runs on a regular schedule, or on command
  • An automated coffee maker that starts making your coffee when your alarm goes off in the morning
  • A Wi-Fi enabled Instant Pot that you can set from your smart phone

Smart Home Lighting

Since the days of the Clapper in the 80’s and 90’s, homeowners have really liked having the option for hands-free lighting control.

Motion sensor lighting in hallways, in bathrooms and in walk-in closets are becoming extremely popular for the convenience they provide. Lights are automatically turned on and off, providing plenty of visibility and saving on energy costs.

Today’s smart bulbs can also change hues automatically when music is playing, by voice command or based on the time of day. Whether you want to set the stage for a party or dim the lights to settle in with a book and a cup of tea, smart lighting takes care of this, hands free. Is it possible the Clapper paved the way for Google’s Alexa and other smart control devices we know and love today?

Smart Home Thermostats and Fans

It was warm all day, so you turned the heat down to save some energy. But you forgot to turn the heat back up before you went to bed and now the whole house is cold. The heating system needs to work twice as hard to warm the house up and this causes a spike in your power usage. One of many solutions here is to program a smart thermostat to lower the temperature as the family sleeps and increase the temperature by breakfast time so that everyone will be warm and toasty.

When you head to work, you can control the smart thermostat from your phone via Wi-Fi or have it pre-programmed to turn the temperature down again while no one is home. You can also remotely turn the air conditioner on to cool the house down on a hot day. No more cooking dinner in a stuffy, baking hot kitchen after a long day.

If you don’t quite need A/C, you could also program smart fans to get air circulating before everyone gets home. These devices use machine learning as well, to learn your habits. Once they’re programmed, you’re good to go!

Smart thermostats and fans are wildly popular because this convenience increases your home’s value, increases energy efficiency and makes climate control so simple.

Smart Home Locks

Smart locks are a smart home product that protect your house and family. They also let you go hands-free (no more dumping groceries on the ground while you fumble for keys.)

Smart Home Products - Smart LocksIf you’ve gone out for the day and realized you forgot to lock your door, just choose the “lock” option from your mobile phone and your home will be secured.

It’s another of those small but extremely useful conveniences that saves time and gives homeowners peace of mind. Plus, no more running back to the house to double check that you locked the doors.

These devices can also be programmed with individual codes for each family member or regular visitors, ending the need to have multiple keys cut.

Many smart locks also come with tablets or monitors that let you check the status of your doors and lock/unlock the doors with the touch of a button from wherever you are in the house. Smart locks are one of the most affordable advances in smart technology and provide a great starting point for a whole home security system.

Smart Home Security Cameras

On the subject of security systems, smart cameras make it easy to monitor the activity in and around your home. You’ll receive alerts and notifications in real time and be able to view videos in real time via Wi-Fi or data on your mobile app.

You also have the choice to self-monitor or to connect your system to a response centre for immediate emergency response. The latter option often means a reduction in home insurance rates and is ideal if you’re away from home often. You can also choose a device like a doorbell with built-in camera for another method of smart home security.

Smart Home Sensing Systems

Gas leaks, smoke/fires, floods and even electric surges are no match for advanced smart home technology. Detecting and sending alerts to your mobile device, sensing systems prevent disaster.

In the event or a fire or a carbon monoxide leak, an alarm will sound and alerts will go out to the phones and devices set up to receive them. If you’re set up for third-party monitoring, emergency services will be contacted immediately if no response is received. A leak or flood sensor will alert you to the problem, letting you take care of it before it gets out of control.

An electric surge sensor is one of the newer products on the market. In the event of a power surge, it will actually power down the appliances in the house. No more fried computers or ruined microwaves.

At Kobalt Systems, we are full-service electrical contractors, home automation and security experts. Are you ready to add smart solutions to your home or business? We’ll take care of automation designs, lighting control, climate control and anything else you need to make these exciting new technologies work for you, on time and on budget. Contact our team at (250) 213-3788 or email us to start designing your ideal smart system today.


7 Ideas for a Better Backyard

With mild winters and comfortable, breezy summer nights, we can embrace outdoor living year-round. Having a better backyard means so much more than having a BBQ and a couple of patio chairs – we are seeing an increase in full outdoor kitchens and living rooms. Our experts can help install outdoor lighting, electrical hook-ups, heating and cooling options, and so much more.

Check out our ideas for a better yard and how our electrical experts can help make it a reality.

#1: Outdoor Kitchen
Make al fresco easy with a full outdoor kitchen setup. The options are endless when you have access to multiple power r
– Keep your bevy’s chilled with an outdoor fridge

– Add a margarita machine for your next staycation
– Create a dedicated space for the grill master in your family


#2: Exterior Lighting
From elaborate string lights to exterior yard lighting – no job is too big or too small for our electrical experts. 

Enhance your home’s exterior for more curb appeal, or make it an important piece of your home security system. Our team has the experience and know-how to evaluate where and how to install a successful crime prevention lighting scheme while still maintaining your home’s aesthetics.


#3: Work from Home (WFH) Outdoor OasisWorkfromHome
Have you been cooped up inside all winter? More of us are working from home than ever before. Take advantage of the summer months by creating an outdoor office space. We can help install Wi-Fi boosters, electrical and USB receptacles.


#4: Outdoor EntertainmentOutdoorTV
Grab a cold beer and catch the game outside. This is becoming an increasing
trend as people shift their living space outdoors. It’s important to note that even if it is placed out of direct rain, a regular TV should never be used outdoors without a purpose-built enclosure. We are experienced in installing full outdoor entertainment systems, including TVs, speakers and projectors.


OutdoorFan#5: Heating and Cooling Systems
Stay comfortable year-round with cost-efficient heating and cooling options for your outdoor living space. We offer a wide selection of exterior fan options and patio heaters to suit your style and your budget.

Exterior fans can help keep you cooler by providing a constant circulation of air, creating a breezy and comfortable environment. We can’t forget to mention that the circular air is great for keeping pesky flying insects at bay.
Infrared radiant heaters allow the even distribution of heat without the loss of energy in windy or drafty conditions. It’s an excellent way to provide warmth to spaces like decks, patios and pergolas.


#6: Hot Tubs, Swim Spas and Pools
A soak in a hot tub or a swim in a pool could be just the thing to help you relax after a long day. However, before you can experience the true bliss and relaxation water offers, there’s a lot of prep work required to be done first. Our licensed electricians can take care of any service upgrades or wiring required when installing your new hot tub, pool or swim spa.


#7: Get Connected
ShedDo you have a shed, greenhouse or detached space needing power? Our electricians have the experience, skills and tools to make your ideas a reality. The task of running underground electricity requires extensive knowledge, and electrical work can be dangerous when it comes to DIY projects.




Take advantage of our mild weather and let our team at Kobalt Systems recreate the electrical comforts of your home’s interior to your living space outdoors.

Based in Victoria BC, Kobalt Systems is proud to be one of the leading experts in exterior electrical services on southern Vancouver Island.  Let our team of experienced and friendly professionals transform your outdoor living area in preparation for summer, and so that you can enjoy it year-round. 


4 Tips for Selling or Buying a Home: Don’t Let an Overheated Electrical System Ruin Your Deal

The Real Estate market in Victoria, BC, is red hot these days, and before you jump in and post a for sale sign in your front yard, you should know if your electrical system is up to date. Whether you are looking to buy or to sell in 2021, it’s essential to understand your home’s electrical status.

Check out our tips for buying or selling a home, because you don’t want to let an overheated electrical system ruin your deal in a hot market!

Older homes built as recently as 2000 were not designed to accommodate the magnitude of electrical devices that we all rely on every day.

If you are selling a home built before 2000 that has less than a 200-amp service:

  • Complete an electrical service upgrade to add value to your most significant investment and augment your property’s sale value.
  • Don’t be left out! 200-amp service upgrades have become a critical selling feature, which is often included in the property description for older homes.
  • Home inspectors will check electrical panels to make sure they are up to date – if your home hasn’t had an upgrade, this may serve as a red flag to potential buyers
  • Work with us for your electrical service upgrade before listing, and we can provide you with an easy and affordable monthly payment plan through Financeit. No payments & No interest for 3 months. OAC.

If you are buying a home built before 2000 that has less than a 200-amp service:

  • Consider the costs involved in having to upgrade the electrical system of the home.
  • Are you wanting to add a mortgage helper or in-law suite? Can the new property’s electrical service handle the additional electrical load?
  • Are you going to want to add a hot tub or an EV charger down the road?
  • Kobalt Systems is pleased to provide an electrical home inspection and a detailed estimate about what you can expect to pay to upgrade your new home.

It’s recommended that all homes in BC have 200+ amp service – this is especially important in recent months as more of us are working from home and putting additional stress on all the systems within our home than ever before.

Having a strong panel capable of delivelectrical-service-upgradeering the power supply you need in your home provides peace of mind. Not only will your home be better protected from electrical hazards like overloaded circuits decreasing the chance of a fire, but a new electrical panel also increases your home’s resale value.


DIY? Not for this! 

Upgrading your electrical system isn’t as easy as putting up a fresh coat of paint. It is extremely dangerous if you are not familiar with electrical wiring. It’s much better to leave this sort of work to a trained and certified electrician.

While a project like this can seem daunting, Kobalt Systems will work closely with you to find a solution to fit your budget. Learn more about what you can expect from an electrical service upgrade

Based in Victoria BC, Kobalt Systems is proud to be one of the leading experts in electrical service upgrades on southern Vancouver Island. The process of selling and purchasing a home can be stressful. Let our team of experienced and friendly professionals prepare for selling or bringing your new home up to today’s electrical standards.


4 Important Reasons Why It’s Time: Make the Switch to An Electric Vehicle

Canadians are starting to make the switch from gas to electric vehicles, and after recent government announcements this month, it’s becoming a no brainer. Not only is it better for the environment, but you will also see financial incentives that make it the best choice for your wallet as well.

It’s best to fully charge your electric vehicle (EV) at home, and that’s where most drivers typically do their charging. It makes sense to have an EV charger installed at home, which is quick to get done and more affordable than most people think! Learn more about the benefits of having an EV charger installed for your home or business.

Not yet convinced? Here’s why you should switch to an electric car now.

#1. The Carbon Tax is Going Up! Avoid it with an Electric Vehicle

According to a recent story published by Global News, Canadians can expect to pay roughly an extra 39.6 cents per litre of gasoline by 2030. Following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent announcement, there’s no doubt we will be paying more at the pump each and every year. Wouldn’t it be nice to take back some control when it comes to your routine expenses?

#2. BC has Doubled the Rebate for EV Chargers

EV-ChargerIn December, the government of British Columbia announced that homeowners can now receive a rebate of up to 50% off for at-home EV chargers and associated electric vehicle charging station installation costs. Even if you live in a condo, your strata can apply to receive a rebate of up to $4,000 per charger installed. This rebate also applies to commercial properties and businesses.
According to BC’s Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, Bruce Ralston, “BC has the strongest uptake in electrical vehicle adoption across Canada”. It’s becoming clear that new incentives like this are making it easier and more affordable for people to make the switch.

#3. Provincial and Federal Government Rebate Programs

The government of British Columbia has invested heavily in the transition away from gas-guzzling cars. Residents and businesses in BC who purchase or lease qualifying new electric vehicles are eligible for up to $3,000 off the after-tax vehicle price.
Learn more about the details of the CEV for BC program

BC is also promoting its SCRAP IT program, which gives you additional incentives to get rid of older, higher polluting vehicles.

Lastly, the federal government has federal incentives of up to $5,000 off the purchase price.

When you book your EV charger installation with Kobalt Systems, we will help you navigate the process of applying for rebates from all available sources to make sure you don’t miss out on any savings.

#4. Zero-emission vehicles help fight climate change

Climate-ChangeDid you know that transportation is the second-largest source of GHG(Greenhouse Gas) emissions in Canada? This is why the government is working to make zero-emission cars more affordable with new programs – and even tax write-offs for businesses. 

If the financial incentives aren’t enough of a motivator, just think of how you’ll be doing your part to reduce emissions.

There are so many other reasons why drivers are switching to electric vehicles at a rapid speed. Don’t just take it from us, BC Hydro also provides resources to help you learn more.

Compare electric to gas-powered vehicles with BC Hydro’s cost-savings calculator.

Based in Victoria BC, Kobalt Systems is proud to be one of the leading experts in Electric Vehicle Charging Station installations on southern Vancouver Island. Our team is experienced, friendly and will provide our EV customers with a selection of the most advanced charging systems available. We will lay out all of the decisions a homeowner needs to make when installing an electric vehicle charging system.