I'm completely new to this forum, so I hope I am asking in the right area.
I'm working on building a toy for my 3 year old boy. What I am trying to do is to get 16 LEDs in a circuit to all flash independent of one another at seemingly random rates (probably in the 50-250 ms range) - to give a flickering/shimmering effect. In addition, I want to use a radial potentiometer to vary the brightness of the LEDs (as a collective) as well (i.e. as he turns the dial, the set of flickering LEDs all get brighter / dimmer together).
And to complicate matters - I want four sets of these (each with 16 LEDs and its own pot).
I'm assuming I'll need to use something like 555 timer circuit in conjunction with something.
Does anyone out there have any bright ideas as to how I might accomplish such a thing?
Thanks for any useful suggestions you might have.
P.S. This is just for a toy - it has no commercial use.