One of the biggest flaws in my original design for the Garage Parking Assistant was not including a mechanism to turn off the LEDs in the event there was no change over a specified period of time. There is a lot of wasted energy having the green lights on all day long while I'm at work, or having the red lights on through the night. The easiest solution to the problem was to count the number of times a zone was selected in the conditional statement.
A couple months ago my brother introduced me to the Arduino microcontroller. I had always been interested in small electronics, but let’s be honest I didn't know the first thing when it came to resistors or transistors. I saw some potential in the device, so in my usual manner I jump right in head first. After picking up a board at the local Radio Shack, I plowed through some basic circuits and applications to get a feel for the design environment. They really made this thing easy for the entry level person. I quickly realized that my weakest area wasn’t so much the electronics, but instead was in the C programming that it uses. I did what anyone in my position would do; I picked up a C programming book and spent a month or so working through it.