I've started working on a project to control my christmas lights via and arduino. I've read a lot of blog posts about doing this, seen a lot of videos, and done a good bit research. The only problem that I am running into is being able to dim the lights.
My initial plan was to connect the arduino to some shift registers and have the shift registers control SSRs. I'd probably toss an optocoupler between the shift register and SSRs to help further isolate the AC from the control. This setup, however, dose not allow me control the brightness of the lights, only if they are on or off. I've looked into TRIACs and kicked around the idea of switching the SSRs on and off very quickly (kinda like a DC speed controller).
Dose anyone have any ideas how to approach this?