In a proper home automation setup, the light switches are replaced with smart switches. This leaves the simplicity of turning lights off at the switch in place, but adds the ability for remote control.
I've had a "smart home" for many years, and it takes a long time to figure out which aspects of having a smart home are actually useful in practice. While most of the lights in my home can be controlled remotely, I only control a small number of them from my phone on a regular basis. For the most part, I've found that I want automation around switches that are not likely to be in convenient locations. For example, I commonly use my smart interface to shut off my back porch light, because I often forget when I go to bed, and it's way easier than running downstairs. I also use various climate controls (thermostat, ceiling fan) a lot. Light switches in the same room that you're occupying, not so much - it's faster to just walk to the switch and flip it than pull the interface up from a controller.
Automatic timers and sensors I've found to be a mixed bag. They work well until you want to "override" whatever behavior they're doing automatically. For example, I have an automatic sensor that turns on my hallway lights to a dim setting if I approach it at night time, so I can see at night. That automation is helpful 95% of the time, but the other 5% I may want to turn the lights on bright and leave them on. I don't have an easy intuitive way to tell my automation to stop trying to show the dim light without pulling out my smartphone.
My hot tub is probably the best example of where my automation really shines. I can turn it on remotely so it's ready for use by the time I get home. Once I'm home, I can control everything about it from one screen - I can turn the filter pump on/off, turn the heater on, turn the light on, and turn the outdoor speakers on, even fill the water up if it's low, all from one place. Doing those things manually otherwise requires going to many different places and getting into weatherproof boxes to access the manual switches.
I think lighting control, in general, is the least useful part of my home automation setup, despite it being the most iconic.