Hi, So I'm new to the Arduino scene, but I do find the whole thing very intriguing. For my first project I want to install some lights on my deck that I can dim via the Arduino... I've read through the PWM stuff, and I think I have a good grasp on what I need, but I feel like I can't quite put it all together. Here's a short list of what I feel my options are, and why I'm hesistant to go forward with them:
1)Arduino, BuckPuck, and a BuckPuck shield that simplifies interfacing. For lights I'd use Luxeon Rebels. Pros: Seems to be the very common solution, parts and support readily available.
Cons: Expensive, I'm worried the lights will be extremely bright for my patio lighting, and I haven't had much luck finding the fixtures to mount them in. The lights/lenses/etc all seem to be geared toward PCB mounting as opposed to fixture mounting.
2)Arduino, Maxim PWM LED driver, with adjustable current output, off the shelf LED lights, w/ fixtures
Pros: A lot cheaper, and the lights are already built in, and designed for outdoor/patio use.
Cons: The Maxim driver doesn't seem to be that common amongst the community, and I'm unsure of the current requirements of these off-the-shelf units.
3) Arduino, Off the shelf lights
Pros: Very simple, using the existing driver
Cons: I'd need to design a way to 'insert' PWM capabilities into the system
So, overall I'm actually leaning towards Number 2 right now, but I'd like some input, if anyone has any, even if it's a good place to get nice light fixtures that will work with the Luxeon Rebels