Basically, I need a way of connecting a computer to some simple electronics; some sort of microcontroller (I think that's the word!).
It doesn't need to be to complicated; all I'm doing is controlling LEDs and simple motors (7 motors, 20 LEDs maybe)(I only need ON/OFF).
The important bit is I'd like something with a programming API; something where I can write code in a programming language on the computer, run the code, and watch the lights and motors move and shine.
I am looking just for the piece of kit, not how to use it, so that's why I think it should be here, not on SO.
(Sorry if my question is not very clear, I'm not really sure how to describe what I'm looking for)