Maplin does, or did do, a thing called a light speller which does what
you're after. It's just a black box with the electronics in it and a the
connections along one edge. You control the lighting by twisting a knob on
the top of the box. Ideal for a job I done in a friends shop window to
advertise the wares inside. Still working after 8 years of never being off
except for the minute or two it takes to change lamps every so often.
A search for light speller on the web will likely bring up more hits for you
to look at.
I think you're effectively talking about X10-style controls. They can be
operated from a PC or using radio frequency control units.
A very good shop selling them in the UK, and which I've been in touch
with on a professional level, is www.home-control.co.uk. This site
should provide a good guide to the technolgy which principally works via
None of this is particulary cheap but why do you want to do? Romantic
effect or home security?
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