First of all, thank you for replying so fast.
I had some time to think about everything today and I have one more question:
Can I link 8 74HC595s after eachother?
Is there a limit?
This post shows you how to demultiplex with a shift register.
If you turn on all of the lamps at once you'll probably blow a circuit breaker. Make sure all of your wiring can handle the current.
You need a continuous signal (but if you use a shift register the shift register holds the state).
-Thank you, I read it, it was very informative.
64 x 60 Watt light bulbs requires a 4000 Watt installation, absolute minimum.
That exceeds the capability of standard single phase 120VAC household wiring by at least a factor of 2.
Don't forget that incandescent bulbs have turn-on surge current several times higher than the steady state current draw.
I have a free 230V 20A circuit breaker, I hope that it will be enough. If necessary, i can use 4,4kW generator too.
If everythink turns out okay, i might want to use the lamp on remote locations, so only a generator. Is this a realistic goal? Do you think that with limiting the number of switches/sec its doable?
it will be loud. relays click. 64 relays will be a loud click.
Some noise is ok, it will even be beneficial for the test.
You may want to use these i2c digital IO modules:
PCF8574 I2C Interface 8-bit IO Expansion Board
I'm plannig on using the 8 74HC595 and print PCB for it. I'm would like use dsubs to connect the PCB to the relay boards, to help with the whole cabeling situation. That might be a bit durable solution, or should I use these anyway?
I don't consider any of your questions dumb, perfectly reasonable for a beginner. However, I do think it dumb for someone with no electrical experience to be working with mains electricity, that is a recipe for serious injury, fire or death.
Your concerns are noted. You are probably saving lifes.
I spent 2 painful years failing to become an electrical engineer, and for the last 5 years i've been a technician. Now I don't know if this qualifies as experience in your book, but if I die from a project like this, I'm completely fine with that at this point.