dimming neon

hi, i am not a guru with arduino and eltronic in general. i've just done a project with TLC controlling 8 rgb led and it works nicly. but now i have decided to switch to a different light source because led is not a solution for me (i tried it only for prototype my ideas). i would like to use some neon (like 1 meters neon from 18 to 36 watt). i heard that only some particular neon can be dimmerable and that i can use a ballast to do it.

can someone give me some points where to start?

There are dimmable neon transformers.

But to make something yourself, you have to be an expert for such a project. The high voltages could be a real danger. Don't mess with it.

what other solution can i try? dmx?

You could use a mechanical interface to drive the potentiometer on a dimmable ballast system. Use the arduino to drive an RC servo which is attached to the spindle of the dimmer pot. Crude ?, yes, but a solution

ohu no, sound nice! 8)

but i what kind of mechanical ballast or neon can i use?

I made a network-connected, dimmable neon sign controller for company once, using an Arduino and Ethernet Shield. You should be able to find neon ballasts that have an extra set of inputs for dimming; just make sure the signal is compatible with the Arduino. Also, the standard PWM frequency for the Arduino won’t work correctly. You need to lower the PWM frequency to something closer to 100Hz; then the neon dims nice and smooth with no humming (at least with the ballasts I was using, and I don’t remember the name of them).

The way its dimmed is by changing the amount of current flowing in the neon, I don't believe any neon isn't dimmable