January 16, 2023No Comments

Alarm Batteries During Load Shedding

In South Africa, load shedding has become a common occurrence, leaving many businesses and homes without power for hours at a time. This can be a major problem for those with traditional intruder alarms, as these systems rely on lead acid batteries as a backup power source during power outages. However, there is a solution to this problem: replacing your lead acid battery with a lithium battery.

Lithium batteries offer several benefits over traditional lead acid batteries. Firstly, they have a much longer lifespan, typically lasting up to five times longer than lead acid batteries. This means that you will need to replace your battery less often, saving you both time and money in the long run.

A typical lithium ion alarm battery is rated for over 2000 charging cycles. Every instance of load shedding consumes one of those cycles. A comparable lead acid battery has a maximum of 700 charge cycles. It should be kept in mind that this value decreases by about 40% if the lead acid battery is drained of more than 50% of its charge. This will routinely happen when load shedding is above stage 4. Lithium Ion batteries have no such shortfall. This leads directly to saving money over the long term with a lithium Ion battery.

For a more in depth example, a lithium ion battery costs R1000 with 2000 charge cycles and a lead acid battery costs R400 with 700 charge cycles. That translates to 57 cents per cycle for lead acid and 50 cents per cycle with lithium ion. So changing to lithium ion translates to a 12% cost decrease. This is the best case scenario. If we see loadshedding as severe as last year then you can reliably cut the charge cycles of the lead acid battery down to 400 in which case it will cost you R1 per cycle, almost double the cost of a lithium ion. This is excluding the cost of having to pay a technician to replace a lead acid battery almost twice as often.

Additionally, lithium batteries have a much higher energy density, meaning they can store more energy in a smaller space. This is particularly useful for intruder alarms, as it allows for a smaller and more compact backup power source. This also means that a lithium battery is likely to last longer during a power outage, providing more reliable protection for your home or business.

Another benefit of lithium batteries is their ability to withstand extreme temperatures. Lead acid batteries can be damaged or fail to function in high temperatures, but lithium batteries are able to operate effectively in temperatures ranging from -20 to 60 degrees Celsius. This makes them a much more reliable choice for South Africa, where temperatures can reach extreme levels.

Finally, lithium batteries are also much more environmentally friendly than lead acid batteries. They do not contain toxic heavy metals and are fully recyclable, making them a more sustainable option.

In conclusion, replacing your lead acid battery with a lithium battery can provide significant benefits for your intruder alarm system during load shedding in South Africa. With a longer lifespan, higher energy density, ability to withstand extreme temperatures and eco-friendly properties, lithium batteries are a reliable and sustainable choice for powering your intruder alarm during power outages.

November 30, 2022No Comments

Keeping your home safe during jolly times

The December festive season is a time of great joy as many of us pack our bags and head off to a holiday destination far from home. Often the holiday has been in planning for months, and the whole family is really excited. Unfortunately, when we look at the rates of crime; house break-ins start to climb from October right the way through to January, peaking in December. Although we often don’t want to admit that going away over the holidays is a ‘bad’ idea from a home security perspective, we should realise that by putting a few safeguards in place, we can try and lessen the chances of a home robbery while we are away this holiday season.

Here are a few tips to avoid getting that dreaded phone call on New Year’s eve:

Make your home ‘look’ occupied

Opportunistic theft is made easier, when all the signs are there to show a thief that no one is home. Consider adopting these strategies to ensure your home looks lived in throughout the holiday:

  • Pause postal subscriptions/deliveries or ask a neighbor to collect flyers and post from your gate’s postbox
  • If you have deliveries, change their address to someone who is staying at home during the holidays
  • Consider investing in light timers that switch your lights on (and off) automatically at a set time
  • Keep you gardener or garden service coming by to keep the grass cut and the garden tame, especially in summer rainfall areas.
  • Ask a neighbor or housekeeper to bring the bin out and back in on bin day, even if its mostly empty.

Hide your valuables

This may seem obvious, but we have heard of many tales of valuables being left out while people are away – jewelry, cameras, expensive clothing (such as leather jackets), diving equipment, bicycles etc. Bigger items can be locked in a room that cannot be accessed by anyone without the key, smaller items can be hid under shelves or in bolted safes.

Make sure your alarm is working

We all know what a disaster loadshedding causes to our alarms. Batteries run flat, alarms randomly set off or don’t power up again. It seems pointless and often homeowners stop setting the alarm and electric fence. This is a definitive way to invite December thieves into your home. Speak to your installer about ways in which you can manage loadshedding, be it by adding additional batteries, or considering a remote monitoring system such as Sentian, which affords you the ability to monitor your home and alarms remotely.

Consider adding cameras to your security system

Adding cameras to your home/business security system adds a level of oversight that cannot be achieved with sensors and noise alone. A number of modern cameras can “talk” to intruders when triggered, these act as an early deterrent before any damage is done to doors or windows. In addition, cameras paired with apps which push video to your mobile device (such as the Sentian system) afford you the opportunity to know if an alarm is caused by an intruder or just the wind.

Secure your doors

Seems obvious, but sometimes we don’t realise how ineffective our doors are. Consider asking an expert for advice on improving the locks of your doors, or options for additional security in the form of gates or security gates.

Don’t advertise your absence

Whilst on holiday we all want to share our plans and holiday antics with friends and family, unfortunately if you have an open account anyone could possibly find out where you are and what you’re up to. Furthermore, only share your holiday plans with a few selected neighbors, versus the whole community WhatsApp group.

Engage your neighbors

If possible, choose one of your immediate neighbors and an ‘across the road’ neighbor to help keep an eye out for you. There is a good chance they too will be away, but perhaps at different times to you. Perhaps they will have a house sitter, or you will and so you can make sure these people are included in the plan to watch out for each other’s properties. Strange sounds or people, cars or moving trucks are easy warnings to look out for.

Turn the water off

If you are not having a house sitter or staff coming into your home, switch the water mains off. A leak can not only cost a fortune over an extended time, but you could ruin floors etc. This could apply to your geyser too.

Other tips:

  • Leave a car in the driveway
  • Disconnect the garage door – these can be opened remotely
  • Ensure you have backup power for your alarm system
  • If you have missed the boat on contacting your installer to upgrade your system, make sure you book them for January – theft is ongoing. Sentian has a list of preferred installer suppliers and can recommend one to you – just get in touch.

January 14, 2019No Comments

Edge Computing Security Platform

In most commercial control room use cases, a VMS solution will more often than not provide a comprehensive and effective solution for your remote monitoring requirements. Sentian provides a unique value proposition for clients with multiple small to medium size, geographically distributed, sites requiring protection and monitoring.

Read the full story in the Hi Tech Security Solutions Magazine

June 5, 2018No Comments

The story behind an SA-made home automation solution

It is a familiar story to many South Africans: boy meets girl, boy and girl marry, buy a house in a leafy Johannesburg suburb, get broken into, spend a fortune on home security, then get woken up by a false alarm every second night. When Tigue Little found himself in this position, he had an idea for turning frustration into opportunity, and three years later he and business partner Trevor Lewis formed the company Sentian.

Read the full story on the Security Solutions Magazine.

May 14, 2018No Comments

The future is here

Sentian's recent collaboration with RDC and TPA featured as the cover story in the Security Focus Africa April 2018 publication. Read more details below.

December 4, 2017No Comments

Sentian featured in OUTLOOK.

We have been featured in the latest OUTLOOK a Cape Property and Lifestyle magazine by Greeff.


Cape Property and Lifestyle


October 16, 2017No Comments

Sentian nominated for Small Business Award

We were recently nominated for the Cape Talk Small Business Awards.

Read the full submission on the Cape Talk website.


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Connect. Detect. Protect.
A proud product of Cape Town 🇿🇦
Legal docs

Connect. Detect. Protect.
A proud product of Cape Town 🇿🇦
Legal docs

Connect. Detect. Protect.
A proud product of Cape Town 🇿🇦
Legal docs

Connect. Detect. Protect.
A proud product of Cape Town 🇿🇦
Legal docs