Home Automation vs. Alfred: Which is the Better Butler?

Sections: Lighting control, Power management, Remote control, Security, Smart Home

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With billions of dollars at his disposal and the latest technology at his fingertips, it’s surprising that Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, lives in a mansion devoid of Smart Home Automation. But then again, he does have his faithful butler Alfred to answer to his beck and call. Still, when it comes right down to choosing home automation or Alfred, it makes you wonder who is the better butler? Let’s take a look at how Alfred measures up to Smart Home Automation in the day-to-day management of stately Wayne Manor.

Home automation

Lighting Control and Security

Alfred: With all his domestic duties, Alfred can’t possibly follow Bruce Wayne around the manor to make sure his billionaire boss always has just the right lighting for the room he’s in. Then there’s the laborious lighting of candles and fireplaces to set a mood that — chances are — will never be quite right. One task Alfred can accomplish adequately enough is the evening ritual of roaming the manor to make sure unnecessary lights aren’t left on. But can Bruce really trust him to secure the locks on the doors and windows and arm the alarm? Being that Alfred never waits up for his master, who is known for keeping late hours, Bruce will be left to his own devices, driving up the dark driveway, fumbling for the keys and stumbling around in a dimly lit house.

Home Automation: Programmable lighting with motion sensors automatically switches lights on or off as Bruce and his guests move throughout the mansion. And when a special mood is called for, Bruce can light the gas fireplace and dial in the lighting to just the right intensity via an app on his smartphone. By using smart LED lights, Mr. Wayne can enjoy even better mood control by actually changing the colors that the lights give off. And as Bruce returns home in the wee hours, automated lighting illuminates the driveway and his path to the door. Unlocking the door via a keypad code or a smartphone app, Bruce enters the house to be greeted by automatic indoor lights that lead him safely up the formidable staircase. As he retires for the evening, touchscreen technology allows him to monitor and control all indoor and outdoor lighting. He can also lock up, arm the alarm, and peruse the premises via remote security cameras. He can even look in on an exhausted Alfred sipping tea in the servant’s quarters.

Heating and Air Conditioning

Alfred: Monitoring and adjusting thermostats to keep each and every room in Wayne Manor at just the right temperature both day and night would be a full-time job for Alfred. Despite his best efforts, a considerable amount of energy would end up being wasted in the vain pursuit of the perfect climate.

Home Automation: Sleek and elegantly designed, the Smart Thermostat gives Bruce Wayne complete 24/7-temperature control of every room in his cavernous drafty manor. Whether he’s at home our out chasing villains in the Batmobile, his smartphone or tablet becomes a trusty tool for remotely monitoring and adjusting the temperature to suit both his and Alfred’s tastes.

Appliance Control  

Alfred: It’s not easy being a billionaire playboy do-gooder’s butler. Especially when it comes to properly operating all those devices that deliver the things that make Mr. Wayne’s life more enjoyable, like that morning pot of exotic fresh roast. And few things feel better to Bruce than slipping into a freshly starched butler-ironed shirt before heading to the office, or donning a perfectly pressed cape before an evening of crime fighting. But lately, Alfred has been absent minded, leaving the coffee in the cupboard, forgetting to turn off the iron or to turn on the hot tub. Faced with such incompetence, what’s a billionaire to do?

Home Automation: Bruce might think twice about keeping Alfred around if he had automated appliance control. This technology networks appliances through a central control, allowing them to be monitored and even turned off and on via smartphone. Now Bruce can start his own pot of coffee brewing, before he ever gets out of bed. And when he leaves the house with a crisply ironed shirt, he can make sure he turned off the iron on his way to the office. And on his way home Mr. Wayne can stop at the store and pick up the items his smart refrigerator texted him that he was getting low on.

Wait. Here comes another text from Bruce Wayne’s refrigerator… “Bye Alfred!”

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  • Michael

    I’ve set up the lighting automation in my home using Control4 light switches and tiny motion sensors from Nyce Control

    • Rick Delgado

      That’s awesome! Definitely not a bad way to go if you want some DIY projects.