I’m only at around 40 physical devices (almost 75 total. Harmony and Echo integration add a lot of virtual devices!), so it’s not overwhelming yet. I put it together one room or idea at a time, so it evolved naturally and I was able to learn the tricks on small setups and leverage them as it grew. IMO that’s the best way to build a smart system. You want automated lighting? Buy a single smart switch and/or smart bulbs and install and test.
My first room probably took a couple of hours installing devices, plus an hour setting up in ST and getting my SmartApps figured out. That was for two smart switches. The last room I did took less than an hour and most of that was physically wiring in the devices. That room was 2 smart switches, a smart outlet, a temp/humidity sensor and a smart bulb.
I’ve built everything using ST in a combo of the mobile app and the IDE. I often tinker with custom code and/or create my own little SmartApps for certain automations I have in mind; but Rule Machine can do pretty much all of it now. I just haven’t taken the time to transfer things over to it.
I have used SmartTiles and it’s awesome! I haven’t used the latest iteration because my better half didn’t like the idea of dedicated tablets around the house. Screens are like crack-cocaine to our infant, and we’re trying to delay that obsession as long as we can!