Yes, the LIFX story has been fascinating. I jumped on board as part of the Kickstarter startup and purchased 45 globes for the house I was about to build. While I was waiting I tried to create room switches using small android touchscreen units I found while in the US but had to give up because the standby power was too high and I calculated the electricity cost would be prohibitive! Anyway the Kickstarter project ran late and I had to use some Phillips LED downlights which I controlled using C-Bus. Good but expensive and no color!
Installation of the LIFX switch is really no different to others, except of course you need a neutral and active at the switch. I think the ‘installation’ talk is really about safety and regulations and not wanting DIY people to create legal hassles. Mind you, apartment installation would have it’s own issues. The current Switch firmware is cloud based, no direct Switch to bulb support. I understand that a LAN update will come. Another current limitation is that the switch itself only has one MAC address and more work is required there.
I also grabbed some flic units for the new house – but have yet to use them. Battery life is always an issue for me but I do have some uses for them and could most likely live with the cloud constraint.
I guess my ‘LIFX affliction’ comes from the early Kickstarter process – there were lots of doubters and I admired the teams perseverance. And I still have my ‘Gen 1’ bulbs to use up. I am of a fan of cloud based control and correct or not, I associate many of the disconnects with it.
My Node-RED discovery was a few months back as I was looking at the Hubitat HA system and found a number of their users offloading their LIFX control to RPis. I am hopeful my RPi4 will be up to the task, if not I will go to a NUC or similar.
Your Milight experience is intriguing and depending on the cost I might take a look at how they fit in with my ideas. A quick look at the AliExpress site makes it appear feasible.
So, thanks for the insights, and keep well in these weird times!