Getting full smart bulb coverage might have been easy if I'd not over thought the problem. The easy path is just going out and buying the bulbs. The slow path is to think a lot about my end state, buy a few items for experimentation, learn what I want out of my system, and then finally go out and finish things off.
I am using the Hue system, but with mostly Ecosmart Smart Bulbs from Home Depot, which are much more cost effective than Philips Hue.
I also bought a few Hue remotes and plan to have one for each room. They cost $24 each, so the whole project will cost a few hundred dollars, not so bad in the grand scheme of things.
My ambition is to have my own system which ties in bulbs with other home features, and lets me play with it all interactively without calling out to external services. I have made some progress there.
My big milestone will be full house coverage + one really enjoyable unique interaction that I'm proud of and guests will enjoy (when that is a thing again).