That’s correct, the minimum load is for completely cutting current for low wattage bulbs, which doesn’t apply if there’s nothing connected to it. It doesn’t need anything connected to the load terminal to register button presses and send that info to the hub, which is all the switch is doing if the relay is bypassed. Because of this, it doesn’t even need to be installed in the same circuit as the light fixture, it can be installed anywhere.
I haven’t kept up with things all that well over the last couple years, so I don’t know everything that runs locally now. I do know that the smart lighting and smart home monitor apps run automations/rules locally, so you should be safe sticking to those. It’s also important that all of your devices are assigned stock DTH’s in order to run locally, so don’t use a custom DTH for your switches or bulbs. Switches and bulbs are generally pretty standard across all manufacturers, so there’s rarely a reason to use custom DTH’s for them.
The only bulbs I know for sure have an option to control/edit the power restore behavior are the Hue bulbs, and I think they may require being connected to a hue bridge to enable that feature. My solution to this issue is simply to eliminate smart bulbs from bedrooms wherever possible and instead use smart switches with dumb bulbs. I do have a couple of smart RGBW bulbs in bedrooms, but they’re in lamps that are plugged into smart pocket sockets that restore to the off position regardless of previous state. The pocket sockets serve double duty as zigbee repeaters to strengthen my mesh on the far ends of my house and to make sure my color bulbs don’t wake me up after a power outage.
There’s also this solution. I haven’t tried it myself, but it should return all chosen bulbs to previous state after a power outage, though likely with a slight delay while the hub boots up.
No worries, I’ve been tinkering with HA and SmartThings on and off for a few years now, and I still feel pretty clueless half the time. HA really can be a really complex and convoluted rabbit hole, especially for those of us integrating switches, outlets, and sensors that aren’t officially supported by ST.
That reminds me of another issue with the Sylvania bulbs that I learned the hard way. They will sometimes allow zigbee end devices to connect to them, but won’t reliably pass on messages coming from them. More on that here: https://community.smartthings.com/t/inexpensive-smart-bulbs-2019/148212/14?u=minerjason