That's the thing I learned on my first blush with the bulb factor. No one really wants to whip out a phone to control lights when walking in the room. So if there's no physical actuator, the acceptance factor takes a plummet.
I too had outfitted my home with smart bulbs, enticed by the dropping prices especially on the white bulbs. I also regretted it and yanked them all out (except in lamps) and replaced with in wall switches.
As far as recommendations, you'll get a variety of responses and really depends on your wallet and selected protocol.
For me I'm zwave, so Homeseer 200 series is the way to go. GE/Jasco makes a decent one also.
If you're in the US, I would recommend you look at Lutron Caseta or Lutron RadioRA2. I replaced all of my Z-Wave switches and dimmers with Lutron Caseta switches, dimmers, fan controllers, and pico remotes. Extremely reliable, and performance is excellent. You have to use the Lutron SmartBridge Pro2 (for Caseta), but it brings with it some nice native integrations with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Logitech Harmony, HomeKit, IFTTT, SmartThings, etc... Hubitat uses a LAN-based Telnet integration which means it is 100% local, and all status updates are instant, regardless of how the switch is activated.
I second the recommendation for Lutron Caseta. I have replaced most of my switches and dimmers with Caseta products. Whenever I see some on sale, I replace more switches/dimmers.
In addition to the advantages pointed out by @ogiewon, I want to mention that Lutron is one of the oldest automation manufacturers in the lighting industry, and their products are legendarily reliable. I have never had to replace a Lutron product in ~25+ years as a homeowner. In contrast, I have replaced 4-year old z-wave switches that have failed.
I inderstand. Two Lutron options...just replace all of the switches with Caseta, so everything looks consistent (this is basically what I have done) OR move up to the Radio RA2 system where the switches are more traditional looking.
Could go with the new Inovelli switches... They can disable the internal relay (with no rigging) so you could keep your Hue if you wanted to... Have a traditional paddle look and are a ton cheaper than going all Lutron. Supply / time to get them could be annoying though, as they are new and in short supply.
Another option would be to keep the hue lights and replace the switches with button controllers. That way you can do more than just control the lights on that loop and you don't loose the option of customizing which lights are on and which are off for a given circuit like you do with a smart dimmer/switch.
At this point the Hue bulbs are sunk cost (you've already spent the money). So, if cost is a factor, swapping out 45 color bulbs for Caseta dimmers is going to be a pricey proposition. If you figure $85 for the hub and say 20 dimmers. That's a cost of close to $1K. Where replacing those 20 dimmer with pico remotes for example would only cost you $300 (including the price of the pro-bridge). Replacing with Hue dimmers would be about $500.
I believe the Hue wireless dimmer switch does that function. That’s what I’m planning to do. Will get some BR30 lightbulbs for the back porch and have the wireless dimmer switch for my wife to operate. No need for cable installation and it’s around $24 not bad.
I agree with your assessment on programmable bulbs.
Lutron is great. RadioRA 2 is a lot better IMO if you are going to use switches. It is more expensive than Caséta, but also more capable and looks better. If you're interested get a quote from firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have neutral wires make sure to get neutral wire capable dimmers.
If you want Z-Wave, I find the Leviton dimmers to perform quite well, they don't look goofy, and are highly configurable too. Requires neutral wires.
Yup, I did factor that in. Otherwise the picos would be cheaper at 1 device since they are less than half the cost. If you're interested in how I came up with that number, here's a table of the spreadsheet I used. I just happened to not have closed it yet (since I wasn't planning on save it. )
Per device cost
After updating the price of the hub, it is actually 8, not 7. I was using the old standard price for the hub of $85 in my original calculation.