digity wrote:can I use the Raspberry Pi as a controller for the LEDs
Yes, can be done.
digity wrote:any ideas on how I get started with something like this?
With protocol... try to understand what/how data needs to be send in order to display what you'd like to.
There are few distinct protocols implemented in LED strips, which are not compatible between each other. Consequently, "one size fits all" is not applicable here.
If I were you, I'd pick LED strip with SPI protocol. There are tons of code, examples and explanations and you can find all needed information for SPI.
Be aware that uncle Google is your best friend.
Best wishes, Ivan Zilic.