@tin369 - Welcome!
At my home I opted to change the switches rather than filling the house with smart bulbs.
Here are a few PROS and CONS on Smart Bulbs based on my preference/opinion/experience:
- I love the ability to change the warmth of the light (setting it at 2700K [warm] Vs 5000K [cold])
- I love the ability to change light color! Sets a great mood!
- Most smart bulbs I have seen have inferior light output (lumens not quality!). I love brightly lit rooms and finding smart bulbs that have the desired lumens output is nearly impossible so I typically pick the brightest LED bulb I find that fits the application and then I dim as needed… this gives me more flexibility.
- In order to use smart bulbs in automation, you need to leave them always powered (light switch always on). This is annoying as you will often find them switched off (it’s easier than pulling out a phone, can’t blame who does it!) and thus your nifty “turn my light on when I enter my home” automation will not work… sucks! Oh and asking Alexa or Google will also fail.
- Finding smart bulbs that fit all applications from a single vendor is nearly impossible so you will end up with a number of hubs, apps, and functionality differences that will just be annoying to deal with. I picked HUE for my mood lighting (not main lighting!) and try to stick with their products where I want to add mood lighting. One hub, one app, and consistent behavior/integration with ST.
- Power outages… tadaaaa your lights come on when power is restored! Put them in your bedroom and you will love waking up 3 or 4 times during a stormy night because the lights go on. I have a mood light in my bedroom and this is a real life example… I could not even ask Alexa to turn them off as she was booting back up and announcing to the world she was connected. Between Alexa, the wait to turn everything off, and the Hue light turning on several times that night - I GOT NO SLEEP. There are entire threads on how to deal with this as there is no default setting to tell the bulbs to “stay off, if off, after power outage”.
- Cost? In many cases smart bulbs are more expensive…
I meant to write way more PROS but they just did not pop up in my mind. I am sure others will chime in with a more positive view.
Security Cameras - I got a cheap LG 7" tablet and use TinyCam Pro to view 6 ethernet cameras via RTSP. Works great and it was a cheap solution with no monthly fees as everything is stored locally (SD cards and NAS). I also had SmartTiles running on the tablet but found that controlling stuff using Alexa was faster and easier. I would use SmartTiles just to have a more customizable view of the few hundred data points (battery levels, open/close status, leak detected, temp, humidity, etc). I too installed Tasker and “Motion Detector” so that the screen turns on when I walk by.