Drag Racing Light Tree dilemma

I am trying to create a drag tree that will really work with electric eyes (like from a garage door sensor). I actually want 8 "starting gates" that are all linked to 4 light trees and eight electric eyes so that 8 racers will be monitored for red light starts. Is this even possible? Its for jet ski racing...the 4 light trees will have to be in sync. I Dont need pre-staging and staging. but need the normal progression to green and then the ability for 8 electric eyes to work for redlights of the 8 racers.

I'm new here. I know nothing! Somebody recommended me come on here to see if anyone here would like to take a crack at it. He told me "You would be using the light controller in conjunction with an Arduino that would take you garage door sensor inputs and compare it to the light controller to tell you who red lit. "

I don't have a light controller or any other hardware for that matter. I was hoping someone here would tell me what to get and how to make it and what to do to use it.

This is the guy I started with:


Sounds like a task that is too ambitious if you really “know nothing”. There are lots of tutorials on howto make lights blink and to use photo sensors to turn things on and off and if you know a little bit about writing code or rigging up electronics you should start out just working up one tree and then you can work on synchronizing them.

If you don’t know anything about coding or electronics, then you need to find (hire) some body who does.

I agree with RPCoyle. Safety will be a big issue. Electrical apparatus and people in water is a hazard. There are lots of regulations you'll have to comply to, cables, feed throughs, shielding, safety inspection etc.
If you don't know how to do the Christmas tree solution of the video, this project is way beyond your capabilities.