Color changing LED table or Wall art.

Morning All,

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

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.

I believe the 7219 can be dimmable. Double check the datasheet.

The rest seems fine.

You MIGHT want to consider using multiple bare Arduino chips instead of piping all of the data into a single arduino. Note that the original table design does not use a microcontroller; it's all analog, and is described in some detail (but not quite to the schematic level) at EMSL as part of the description of the parent project Interactive LED dining table

There's a somewhat smaller project that is not too dissimilar described on Instructables, perhaps in several different projects: "Daft Punk" Table replica