Powering & Transitioning a light bulb

Hey all, I'm new here so I guess a little intro is required:
I go to school for industrial design in Cincinnati, Ohio. I'm working on my senior capstone project and it's based around light. In the end I'm going to need a model of a light bulb that glows and can transition between cool and warm colored light, as well as dim. I'm by no means a programmer but have classmates who have managed to find code online that's compatible with their needs.

So, if I'm powering a model light bulb (which will most likely NOT produce the Lumens a real-world version would) I assume I'm going to need more volts than the arduino uno will provide?

If I want to be able to transition between cool and warm evenly, and also dim the lights, would code already be available for that?

Apologies for any ignorance on my behalf, please inform me. Thanks a lot!

I’d be more worried about the amps. After all, torch light bulbs can run off a 3V battery.

I would search this forum for example circuits for hooking up lights to the Arduino. Hint: you probably need a transistor.

Then search for PWM (pulse width modulation) - that can be used to dim the globe.

I want to be able to transition between cool and warm evenly

How will this be controlled, assuming you had to do it manually?

How much light do you need? As much as a 100W light bulb, or as much as a little LED?

On a small scale, there are RGB LEDs that can be easily "modulated" to just about any color. You can drive one of these directly from the Arduino by using 3 output-pins to adjust the brightness of the 3 different colors. But, I really don't know how well these can simulate "cool" or "warm" light.

Anything larger than that is going to need additional circuitry to boost the voltage/current. It might be as simple as a MOSFET, or solid-state relay, or it might be slightly more complicated. (A mechanical relay is not fast enough for dimming, but some solid-state relays can be used in this application.)

On a larger scale, there are higher-powered RGB LED's and LED arrays for theatrical or "disco" use
([u]example[/u]) that can be controlled via [u]DMX[/u]. I've never done it, but with a little programming and an additional chip, you can make a DMX controller from the Arduino.

Light dimming is normally done by pulse-width modulation (PWM), which is easy with the Arduino. Basically, a narrow pulse (i.e. on for 10% of the time, and off for 90% of the time) gives you (the perception of) dim light. A wider puse, up to 100% on (DC) will give you bright light.

For AC powered incandescent lamps, something very similar is done. A "trigger" signal turns-on a TRIAC at some point during the 50hz/60Hz cycle. Then the TRIAC turns-off when-the AC cycle goes through the next zero crossing. If you turn it on at the beginning of each half-cycle, you get full brightness. If you turn it on near the zero-crossing, current only flows for a short time, and the lamp glows dimly.

This isn't "hard", but you have to sync-up with the AC cycle and you have to isolate the dangerous AC voltage from yourself, and from the Arduino.

I don't know much about dimming fluorescent lamps. I assume it's similar to incandescents, but I do know that "regular light dimmers" don't work with fluorescents, and it might actually require a special fluorescent fixture/ballast.

Thanks a lot guys!

The bulb I'm powering will be of my own design, and LED.
I'm sure I'll have more questions when I start tinkering with the kit, currently in the mail.