I'd like to make an illuminated staircase consisting of 14 steps where the steps light up as someone walks up or down. When a step is detected I'd like to switch on a small LED strip for a few seconds.
Today I had the idea to detect steps by measuring the difference in resistance caused by someone stepping down on this piece of aluminium which is installed on every step. Using the analogue input pins of an arduino I think that should be a relatively easy task, but I need to control approx. 14 LED strips and I'm trying to find ways to minimize complexity and the number of wires along the side of the stairs.
One of my questions is therefore: is there a way to build a small, simple and cheap "control mechanism" that could be installed in each step? In other words, is it possible to build something small, cheap and capable of:
- Being powered by 12V
- Sense resistance in a piece of metal
- Switch a LED strip on and off (mosfest transistor?)
- Wait for some seconds
Ideally I'd also like to fade each strip in and out, but in an attempt to keep things relatively simple I've more or less disregarded this feature.
Similar posts/projects: http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=76094.0 http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=70019.0 http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=62893.0 http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=51188.0
The other question is of course, do you have any general advice on this project?
Edit: This Tutorial explains how program a single 8-pin ATtiny chip. Perhaps I could run 5V(to power the ATtinys) and 12V(to power LED strips) down the side of the staircase, then use 14 ATtiny chips to control 14 LED strips? Does that sound reasonable or just silly?