I know this is a little bit outside of the realm of "home improvement" but I thought this site was the best fit since it is full of handy people.
I am building a busy board for my nearly 2-year-old son. If you don't know what that is, it's basically a wooden board with switches, locks, noisy things and colorful things that I can sit my boy in front of to entertain him.
I wanted to take the opportunity to engage his mind too - so one of my ideas is to create a light/color area on the board.
Now, I have a VERY basic understanding of electronics, but not really enough experience with LEDs to know which direction to go. If presented the hardware, I could understand it and wire it, but I am not sure how to engineer this and am wondering if anyone has any experience doing something like this (maybe with interior mood lighting)?
My broad-stroke thoughts are to have a number of switches (or a multi-position switch) that controls a series of LEDs that are a variety of colors like this:
SWITCH 1 SWITCH 2 SWITCH3 Red Blue Yellow
When he hits switch 1, he sees red. When he hits switch 1 and 2, he sees purple - or maybe he sees red and blue with a little purple in the middle (I'm not looking for perfection). I'm also open to the thought of using a multi-color LED or something to that affect.
My Concerns are:
- Power: I am looking for something battery-operated since he is still too young to be messing with electrical cords.
- Brightness: I am looking for something that isn't too bright. I know LEDs can be quite powerful if you look right at them. I was thinking of incorporating a piece of frosted plastic into some type of enclosure to diffuse the light.
If this isn't the right corner of Stack Exchange, please feel free to point me in the right direction. The Electrical Engineering area seemed a bit out of my league.