Yeah, that's a much more practical solution!I linked the wrong one tbh BlueGhozt Smart LED Controller – Ghozt Lighting, this was what I meant to link. It handles addressable leds. This system is used by plenty retrofit pros, so if you want to re-invent the wheel, that's your choice. The + version also has 4 12v controllable relays also.
As for re-inventing the wheel, sometimes that's faster. I don't know how to program/configure that device, how flexible it is in terms of sequencing the way I want, etc. etc. etc. I have loads of ESP2866 microcontrollers, reels and reels of LED strips of all sorts, and could build a test bed and code up a prototype in an hour or two. I know it would take me more time than that just to start playing with the thing, and it has a separate dev env to program it.
I can reinvent that wheel faster than I can learn to use the existing one