I have seen that a lot people control 230V AC lamps with the arduino. Someone suggested http://www.hoelscher-hi.de/hendrik/english/dimmer.htm
as a tutorial for that.
Unfortunately I am more a programmer than an electrician, which means I do not understand the tutorial that I linked and I don't think it is a good thing to work with 230V without any knowledge about what exactly I am doing (+ I can't modify it to include an arduino
Is there any ready-made piece to make things easier? I am okay with building things that use 12V (or 5V or whatever) and I built things with LEDs and motors successfully.
I thought about using a dimmer switch and a step motor, but this seems like a kludgy solution to me. Maybe there is something better?