Network controlled multi RGB-LED project

So, not sure the best way to go about this. I am a software dev, not hardware :), but I have done various kits in the past that required soldering. Basically - PCBs and control circuits are still a mystery to me. Here are the requirements for the current project: total of 17 individually controlled groups of leds (each group will consist of 1 to 6 leds, but each group will share the same color with other LEDs in its group, so parallel should be ok) Network enabled: I'd prefer to run the software to check the webserver on the device, but I think that will come later. For now, I'd like to be able to interface with it via bluetooth or wifi (bluetooth would be easier for "end user setup" - trying to design something that an end user can pull right out of the box and connect with minimal work - wifi would add a huge layer of complexity to that)

I am capable of writing the software needed to control it, once I find the right hardware with SDK / API. My main problem is that I don't know how to create the controller for the LEDs...

ANY help would be appreciated. I have not yet purchased any boards, as I'm not sure which board would be the best. Compact of course is a huge plus.

I think I found my answer here:

Hi, I'm interested in doing a similar thing. It may be a bit different - I would like to control LEDs from a web browser.

Any suggestions or guidance on this for the general approach would be most appreciated.