Help and idiot to control LEDs via USB

I have what's a common question, however the usual answers I see relate to Arduino or some other all-in-one package which I really want to avoid. It's been 4-5 years since I did anything like this and I've pretty much reverted to an amateur again!

My aim is to build the simplest circuit to control anywhere from 8 to 64 LEDs via USB within Windows and Linux using C or assembly. I'm not adverse to doing some PIC work but I no longer own any of the kit so would need to pick up the programmer again... if I could avoid doing this it would be great but I don't know if it's feasible.

Should I be looking at FTDI chips or am I barking up the wrong tree? Is there a basic instructable that I've overlooked that might point me in the right direction?

What do you want to pay for it ?
The simplest way I can think of is to use an Arduino - which has a USB port, to talk to a PC.

Lighting LEDS is then just serial comms in whatever you want to use.

Auraomega (author)  steveastrouk4 years ago
I was trying to make it as cheap as possible but found the Arduino expensive here, however I managed to find a DIY Arduino kit for a nice price so I'll have a play with that and see where it goes!
Where's "here" - put your country in your profile - it makes helping much easier.