I don't know why, but I'd simply never thought of using PWM to control an incandescent bulb -- I was thinking that the bulb wouldn't be fast enough to respond, but at the end of the day a PWM ration of 1:1 (for example) equates to 50% of the power...
I thought of adding an old meter (I have a bunch here in the office) but you couldn't see it in a large room -- which is also why I decided to leave out the geared clock -- but I think it will look great just the way it is (once I've got the lights working :-)
Hi Rick -- that would be wonderful -- also my Chum Alvin suggested sanding the outside of the LED because this would diffuse the light -- and also maybe putting a blog of silver / reflecting paint right on the tip of the LED to block the intense point source...
"Ideally I would like to use LEDs as light sources, because I can easily control...."
You can very easily drive an incandescent bulb from a uP port via a transistor. If you use (say) a 12v bulb from a 12V line to a transistor to ground, when the Tr is on it will be at 100% brightness. You can pulse width modulate the Tr to dim it - it won't be as linear as a LED but it would be quite acceptable.
Just a comment - couldn't you find an old meter (preferably a round face type) to complement your switches and lights? I guess it would not be as visible to an audience though...
I've got some frosted mylar sheets that should do the trick nicely. I'll drop a couple in the mail to you.
You might also check out LED reflectors and lenses on Digi-Key. Go to Product Index, Optoelectronics, Optics - LEDs - Reflectors.
"...things look more interesting of they arenít all centered."
In my case, for "interesting" read "Drive me scatty"... I'm a symmetrical kind of guy I'm afraid. But hey, whatever turns you on, baby....
"Ideally I would like to use LEDs as light sources..."
You do realise you can get Led "bulbs" in almost any form factor now - you'd probably be able to get some for whatever fitting your lamps used. Get onto Element14 (new Farnell) and look under Optoelectronics and Displays, then Lamps, then Led Replacement. I just had a fossick on the Australian site and there are heaps, single led, multi led, extra bright, with and without diffusers, etc. Most of them are pretty expensive though. You could make your own diffuser with a disc of greaseproof paper.