Today’s expats are tech-savvier than ever.

And hey, why not?

From totally mobile workstations that allow us to work from anywhere to apps for sending remittance payments, expats can easily equip themselves with everything they could possibly need to get things done on-the-go.

However, what about smart home tech?

Whether due to temporary living situations or simply opting for an apartment versus affording a house, it’s only natural to overlook such gadgets.

That said, there are a number of cost-effective smart home devices that any expat should consider for their own apartments. We’ve outlined four awesome gadgets that represent investments in the long-run and you can set up in no time flat.

Lights

Light systems such as Philips Hue are good starting points for smart tech considering you can add one bulb at a time based on your budget. Not only are these bulbs energy efficient by themselves, but can also be programmed via your smartphone to fade or turn on and off at specific times.

A popular use of such a feature is to simulate someone being home while you’re away or reproducing a natural “sunrise” as a subtle wake-up call. If nothing else, not having to walk across the room to hit the lights is a nice luxury.

Thermostat

While smart lights are an energy saver, they don’t hold a candle to what a smart thermostat system like the Nest can do for your wallet. In the United States, consumers thousands of dollars on energy costs and many of those are directly related to inefficient use of our air conditioners.

A smart thermostat can easily be programmed to turn itself off while you’re away and automatically prevent itself from getting too hot or cold. This ensures that you’re always comfortable and never have to deal with unreasonable settings that drive up your energy bill. The end result is turning the thermostat into a second thought while saving money passively.

Security Camera

While we never want to assume the worst, there’s no denying that expats are targets for identity theft and other scams.

Wireless cameras such as Amazon’s Ring can be placed outside your door to monitor any activity, arming itself when it detects motion accordingly. T

he ability to see who’s there beforehand and track anyone trying to enter your apartment means instant peace of mind. Also, Ring is coupled with the Neighbors app to help you keep track of any incidents in surrounding areas.

Nice, right?

Smart Speaker

Smart speakers such as Amazon’s Alexa might seem like little more than novelties, but they can serve as the central hub to connect all of your smart devices. For example, you can ask Alexa to turn down the temperature or turn off lights in a certain room if you have your devices synced.

Also, features such as timers and the ability to play Spotify or NPR are nice touches when you’re doing chores or are working around the house. If nothing else, you can always pose a quick question or play Jeopardy! when you’re bored.

Just because you’re living abroad doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy the benefits of a smarter, tech-savvy home. With the help of these devices, you can instantly modernize any living place regardless of where you might be in the world.

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