Arduino Interactive LED FOREST!

Hey Guys,

So what i'm trying to do is create an interactive LED installation that utilizes an ultrasonic range finder to trigger when an led strip turns on or off. Here is the basic setup: 3 strips of LEDs placed at different distances, the farthest being the max distance that the range sensor will pick up, the second right in the middle of the sensors range, and the first right at the sensor.

I would like the LEDs to trigger right when the person is next to the strip and then turn off when they pass it. and then the next one triggers, and so on.

The code should be relatively simple although i do not have the knowledge.

Eventually i am going to be putting these LEDs along side a forest trail for a potential distance of 100 feet or so. this means lots of LEDs and lots of power running through them. Any suggestions on setup for this installation? Using multiple Arduinos, Running wires long distances, lots of power being used.

To recap, I am in search of coding required for this program, and also suggested setup for a large scale Aduino interactive LED installation.

Any information you might have in reguards to sources for good coding tips that will get me well on my way will help significantly as well.

I would like the LEDs to trigger right when the person is next to the strip and then turn off when they pass it. and then the next one triggers, and so on.

So, if the person approaches, no lights until they are very close. Then they continue in same direction, away from entry direction? And lights ' follow' them?

Exactly.

OK, Other will have other ideas, but let me throw a few things out:

Questions: - how long are the LED strips - All same color? White? Other - What voltage / current for LED strips? - Is this usually used in total darkness? - Isthere AC power available along the route, or just one place? - will multiple people be on the route at the same time? - Will persons sometimes stay motionless for a long time? What should happen then? - If there was a low-cost way to control each sector would that be acceptable? - Are you sure that ultrasonic is the best sensor?

This is usual design engineering: you go from 100% questions to 100% answers over several iterations :)

Okay.

The LED strips are 2M long. They are all going to be the same color. Capable of any color seeing as they are RGB Voltage is at 12V for these Leds and i am feeding them 12V as is right now. Not sure about Current. I dont know how to get a reading on it. These will be used for a nighttime installation so it will be dark. We are going to be using generators for AC Power so we can have as many access points as we need. Yes there will be multiple people on the route at the same time. If people stay motionless then the lights just go out, when they start back up, so do the lights. If there is a low cost way to control this that is great, as long as it as just as effective and still uses arduino. Important to note that i have a 20k Budget so cost isn't the biggest of concerns. No i am not sure that ultrasonic is the best sensor. I am open to using anything that is going to get the job done, pressure sensors for the ground, Infrared too.

This is the very stripped down version of what i want to do, but i just want to get this down before i start to have fun with these LEDs. Also could use some help with the code as far as getting the arduino to take readings from the sensor and control the lights accordingly.