Implementing HA and/or ESPhome in a centralized led-lighting setup using mains wall switches

Hi Community!
Joined just now, obviously have some questions and hope to get some feedback or helpful suggestions. Sorry for the long post, it’s a bit of a complex situation so I need many words to explain the background :wink:

Basically, I have a good few rooms in the house that all use conventional lighting all connected to normal wall switches to control all those lights. I’m busy now with changing that existing conventional lighting to a lot of monochromatic led-strip lighting and obviously I want to make use too of the many nice features Home Assistance has to offer. I already installed HA on an old laptop and that works impressively nice.

Now, instead of using a lot of single ESP32 (or ESP8266) with separate PSU per monochromatic led-strip (which brings a lot of complexity and costs) I rather went for a centralized approach in which just a few ESP32’s are used, each having one big power PSU. Each ESP32 then controls several led-strips and reads the positions of all matching mains wall switches (relax, all safe, I’m an electronic engineer). All hardware needed for such a centralized setup (power PWM driver, mains wall switches input logic, etc) is done already. So next step now is HA implementation.

Ideally, I want the best of two worlds: (1) using HA to use all that led-lighting in an intelligent way, and (2) still have that direct manual control of all those existing wall switches to overrule that intelligence if need be. That has the following consequences: both HA and the wall switches can independently switch on/off led-lighting while the dimming settings have to be done by HA via the app.

As far as my HA knowledge goes (I’m a newbie, sorry) this could all be done within HA itself with automations or whatever, correct? Meaning, keeping all those central ESP32’s quite passive and using HA to realize that whole setup. I guess, that would be the easiest approach to achieve the best setup, correct?

However, then I would rely completely on HA itself, the laptop and the WiFi connection to always be there without any failure. How realistically or wise would that be? I don’t want end up in a situation where one of those links fails and led-lighting gets totally out of control for an unknown period of time.

An other approach could be shifting more responsibility/ control towards those centralized ESP32’s. The obvious advantage would be that then the whole system becomes a lot more independent from HA, laptop and WiFi. Meaning, if something goes wrong there I still could perfectly control the led-lighting with the wall switches directly via each ESP32. I guess ESPhome offers a lot of possibilities to realize this. However, when trying to look for solutions/examples online here I didn’t find much to start with. So far from own testing I can indeed turn a led-light off from the wall switch, however I wasn’t successful in turning it back on while still maintaining the same (HA) dimming value. So this solution might bring more system independence regarding failures but as disadvantage would be (far) more complicated to implement.

Thanks to all that made the effort to read up to this point (sorry again for this long newbie post). I hope to get some feedback/ suggestions which path would be most advisable to follow here as per your own experience/ know-how, and if possible also some code examples that I could use then. As said, I’m a newbie however with a lot of Arduino experience; getting bits of HA/ ESPhome code to push me in the right direction would be highly appreciated.

Thanks all!