Hey @pluckytree! So very glad to have you as part of the Local Community.
Very good questions and we totally get that the Local Lightning stuff can get a little confusing. Essentially, the original version of Local (Local by Flywheel version 3.x) leveraged virtual machines through Virtual Box integration. This was very functional but it ran into a lot of performance and operational kinks. “Local Lightning” (version 5) was the evolutionary leap that stripped virtualization out and proved to be MUCH faster. “Lightning” still hangs around in a few places (like the language on the add-ons page) but we’ve moved to just calling it Local (version 5.x) now.
Local v 5.x doesn’t quite have all of the bells and whistles that v3 had (like the Stats add-on) but they are coming back down the road.