simple controlling lights with code problem

I'm working on a masters project at University, where I'm investigating different photometric stereo techniques. This requires me to write a piece of code, which when run, it triggers four lights to flash, one after the other. I appreciate this is probably (hopefully) a really simple problem but my coding experience is quite limited and I'm not sure how to link the code to the flash lights, whether this be through the use of an FPGA or some other micro controller.

I'm thinking of using a counter, after 1 count light 1 will turn on, after another count light 2 will turn on and so on...

Ideally I'd like to use C or use Matlab. What is the best way to write this code and what is the best method of linking this code to the flash lights?

Thanks

The demo Several Things at a Time should provide the basics for timing the lights.

As you have not provided any details about the lights you intend to use I have no idea how the Arduino might physically control the lights.

You don't say what you might use C or Matlab to do. There should be no difficulty getting either of them to send data to an Arduino. The example Arduino code in Serial Input Basics may give you some ideas.

...R

Very doable with an Arduino....

Arduino code can easily tell digital output pins what to do, ie be on or off basically, and there are about 20 such pins on the Uno model, so yep no biggy. The exact details of the lights will dictate the exact electrical gubbins required of course.

(I'm hoping that for an M you need to do more substantially more than blink a few lights though.... :) )