I am not sure if you are aware of Home Assistant, but it’s a neat way for me to do some tinkering in my home and wire it all together using Node-Red to save me some coding and get some neat flows set up. And you can do the same with quite little effort and start out with some neat things.
For me, Home Assistant is the ‘connector’ to get a grip on the tings I want to work with. This includes but is not limited to various online services like weather or even github. Node-Red on the other hand is where I wire in the logic. This may sound a bit much for a start, but if you want to keep your head in what’s in your home instead of some coding, that’s the way to go. In addition to that, I use Node-Red to emulate a Phillips Hue bridge to be able to hook up things like scripts like a samba call to shut down a computer.
As you see, not all smart home components need to be physical.