First project feasibility?

Hey folks, I'm new to the world of microcontrollers and programming.
I don't own one yet but a friend said he thought the uno3 would do the job for a project I'm working on. I googled and read a bit but I'm still not real clear. I'm trying to figure out what to buy based on what this thing can do. Please understand I'm not asking for help with the code (yet), just if my ideal is possible or not with the uno3. Or, if not, any of the products.
I want to control a total of 6 leds and one 110vac relay.
Ideally I'd like 2 leds to fade to 255 over a time of about 2 seconds then stay on. Then a second pair would fade up for 2 seconds. As this is going on, I'd like a third pair of leds start fading up when the first pair starts but get to 255 with the second set. Then all 6 would fade to 0 in about 1/2 or so seconds. Then the relay would trigger. It will stay on for about 5 or 6 seconds and start the cycle all over again.
Like I say, this is the perfect plan, I can adjust if its just not possible.

Also, I'm sorry. I realize this kind of question is probably answered a lot in this forum, I searched a bit already. My problem is that I'm so new and ignorant that I have no idea what's helpful reading.

Arduino Uno rev. 3 (or in fact any of the revisions!) would be more than capable. As you LEDs are working in pairs, you need three outputs for the LEDs and one for the relay. You will need resistors for the LEDs as well, and a transistor, a resistor and a diode for the relay.

When you get to coding, you will need to research PWM to manage the fading of the LEDs - the feature is built into the ATmega328 chip, and is easy to setup from code once you get your head around it.

Out of interest, what is your project going to do?

Edit: I should also add that this seems like a good level to aim at for a first project! It makes a change from some of the posts which say "I have bought an Arduino, and I want to build a quadcopter, but I don't know how to program. Where do I start?" :slight_smile:

You can go through the process of working with a single led on a digital pin, then as you grasp the concepts, you can work towards your planned layout.

Uno has 6 PWM pins, perfect for 6 LEDs.
Relay will likely need an NPN transistor to control the coil current, and a 1N4001 diode across the coil contacts.

Thanks for the info. Now I'm really excited to start. I'll be ordering my parts soon. My thought was to start with blinking the LED and work up from there.

I was going to cheat and buy this; http://www.makershed.com/PowerSwitch_Tail_II_p/mkps01.htm to make my first build a little easier. The plan for now is to get a smaller chip and build the relay later once I know more about what I'm doing. Then I'll have the Uno and a relay for other things.

The project will be a Jacobs ladder. I'm going to have "vacuum tubes charge the electrodes then fire the spark". In reality the first and second pair of LEDs will be red and inside the tubes to make them seem to be building a charge. The third pair will be blue and hidden inside the electrode holders; that will be the "electricity" getting ready to jump. The relay will turn on the ladder itself. This is all a part of a bigger project. I don't want to give to much away but I'll post pics and videos of both this piece and the thing as a whole.