Complete noobie, needing help with allegedly simple project...

Hello all... I have absolutely NO IDEA what I'm doing. :D

Never heard of Arduino prior to yesterday when someone said it would work well with a project I'd like to do.

The project itself is I want to lay a red LED strip around the glass door to my rack, and want to set it up to be dim when the main computer within it is idle, and as it starts working harder, gets brighter. Perhaps tied to fan speed of the computer? How would I go about this? Do I need certain LEDs? I didn't have enough time with that person to get enough details...

Thank you for the help!

(Side note.... There are some absolutely amazing creations around here... It's quite intimidating, but truly fascinating!)

It sounds quite possible as you describe it.

You would need to use a logic-level n-channel MOSFET to drive your led strip, with the MOSFET's gate connected to a PWM pin on the Arduino.

You connect to a fan, you would need to make a connection to the "control" pin of the fan, assuming the fan has a 4-pin connector.

Alternatively, you could add a temperature sensor to the Arduino.

In either case, the temperature or fan speed lags a long way behind the CPU usage. Getting true CPU usage is much more difficult.

There are also addressable ledstrips wher you can control each individual led (you can e.g. make a running light). The strips referred to above are noet able to do so.

Just depends on your needs which one you pick.