ok, so here is what I was thinking:
Microcontroller: Arduino Uno USB Microcontroller Rev 3, RB-Ard-34
Sensor: DFRobot Adjustable Infrared Sensor Switch, RB-Dfr-49 OR Sharp GP2D120 IR Range Sensor - 4 to 30 cm, RB-Dem-03
(I like the simplicity of digital feedback. I'm not sure about the 'bright light' that it mentions, though, as the sensor would be used at night-time only)
LED and breakout board - I am lost
Here is more information that might help: Firstly, I am a newbie, but an electrical engineer. I have worked with microcontrollers, but it was a LONG time ago (1995, to be exact) and I forgot most of it
The intrusion detection
will occur at night. I would prefer a 'line of sight' instead of a reflective detector, but not a huge deal I don't think... this WILL be in a semi-enclosed area, though, so I worry about reflective not being the correct application here. Think of this as a mouse hole (about 8" across) inside a box and a mouse moving quickly in. I need to detect that 'one-shot' and then code the LED actions based upon that intrusion.
will be flashing a series of lights in a specific manner.. similar to what you might see in a new toy with the vibration sensor... I want low-intensity LED lights as this will be at night and I don't want super-bright. The code will do this: Flash the lights in a specific pattern. AND, randomly, flash in a different pattern.
I hope that makes more sense
You have gotten me on my way, though. I had the controller picked, so you helped me validate that decision and had the detection picked as well, but added the Sharp up there just in case I am wrong (now I have reservations on the type of detection, though).