I am new to the forum, and this is my first post. As far as introductions go, I am a product design student living in the states. My electrical experience is limited to re-capping vintage amplifiers and building a few guitar pedals (from kits), however Arduino is completely new to me.
*I hope that I am posting this in the correct forum, if not, please advise.
Anyway, I am currently working on a lamp project which requires a custom dimming circuit, and I've been told that Arduino may be the best route.
First off, imagine a standard wall-dimmer/switch that is controlled by a rotary knob. When turning the knob clockwise, the lamp gradually becomes more and more brighter until the internal potentiometer has been 'maxed out' and can no longer rotate.
I however, want to the ability to continually rotate the dimming knob 360degrees without any stops. And depending on where the knob is positioned, the lamp will be either: off, dim, or bright. I understand that continuously rotating potentiometers already exist, however, I am restricted to the standard linear 'sweep' pattern which goes from 'off' to 'full brightness' in a 300degree rotation (before hitting a stop).
So lets hypothetically say that in this new Arduino driven circuit, the lamp will go from 'off' to 'dim' to 'bright' to 'dim' and the back to 'off'. In one single 360 turn of the knob. Does that make sense?
I spoke with a friend who knows a little about this stuff and he mentioned that I would the following: Optical Encoder (with analog output), Arduino Unit, and a Light Control Module (which is controlled by 5 volts).
I have no idea as to what type of components to get, and I also don't know how to program the Arduino as well. And to make things difficult, I would like to make two versions; one for a 120V Incandescent light circuit, and another one for a 12V LED circuit.
Also, I am also willing to pay someone for the programming aspect.
Please advise. Many firstname.lastname@example.org