I setup an ESP8266 and WS2812B LED strip with WLED and a while back and thought it was one of the coolest ways to control a smart light, that I’ve ever tried. WLED is a web server for ESP8266/ESP32 boards that controls NeoPIxel LED strips. There is an app that works out of the box for basic controls / effects. More importantly there is a REST api, and even better it allows for UDP communication for quick updates.
This is probably one of my most useless creations. It’s a 2 key keyboard for the most tedious typing experience ever. Basically you type in 8 bits on once you hit the 8th one it will take the value of the byte and put the corresponding ascii code and output it to the connected computer. As an example: