Go take a look at Teensy microcontrollers

If you haven’t yet done it, go and have a look at the Teensy micro controller from PJRC. Its powerful, small, has lots of libraries available and, one very large bonus, a very friendly developer and user community forum. You will usually find someone who can point you in the right direction or perhaps even provide an answer to something that has been holding your dev back.

Using the Teensy with led strips for pixel poi
Using the Teensy with led strips for pixel poi – NOTE that the ws2811 led strips used above are really slow and not good for fast spins!

I am not associated with teensy, I just use the micro controllers for a range of projects as you can see on this blog. Some of the projects are:

with a wifi receiver
with a bluetooth receiver from android phone
processing data via ethernet cable
stand alone LED displays
Stand alone scrolling text displays
processing movie images to led displays via USB
as a light painting staff
reading data from sd cards

go take a look at the projects page: