I have a couple of questions regarding the Arduino and interfacing with many LEDs using photodiodes to control the levels and motion. I have a project in mind similar to http://www.becausewecan.org/LED_Coffee_Table_The_Wave.
The table senses an object above it and activates the LEDs around the object.
I am a total newbie with all aspects of the Arduino and Electronics. I understand that this would be an ambitious project. I have searched too much and seem to have filled up my brain while learning heaps.
What I have in mind would be mounted on the wall about 32" x 16" in size. I would most likely want to use 16 panels each one would be 8" square. On each panel I would put 4 photodiodes and 4 IR LEDs along with 10 or so RGB LEDs. This may be changed to just white LEDs, if I do that I will up the amount of LEDs to 32 or how ever many look good. LEDs would be mounted in a sheet of something and I would build a controller board, or maybe split the controllers out into multiple boards.
What I need help with first is the hardware requirements. I've searched and believe I have the major components in mind. Let me know how off base I am please.
Input from the photodiodes is handeled by a 4051. This gives me 8 channels, right? I would need 8 of these. Output could be handled by the Max7219, I would need 8 of these. Although with the 7219 I cannot dim the LEDs, what would be some other choices? I saw something on the TLC5940NT chip, would that work? Although there is no a library for that yet. The simpler the programming the better.
Like I said before this is all new to me. What other components would I need in the circuits? In addition to what other things could you tell me why they are there so I do some more research into building circuits. I plan to start out small and just build 2 of the panels. that would use one each of the 4051 and 7219, both of which I have ordered samples for.
I'm a quick learner and with these forums and Google I believe I can at least give it my best shot.