A lot of people would like to control AC outlets from their Arduino, however not too many are qualified to complete the required wiring. However the task can easily and safely by controlling wireless AC outlets with an Arduino. Doing so is easy, and documented well by Peter Hardy. In his project he bought some inexpensive wireless remote-controlled outlets and determined the wiring inside the remote control - which can then be controlled by Arduino output pins. Furthermore these have been conserved by the use of a 74HC595 shift register IC leaving more digital pins for other tasks.
Even if you have a different brand of remote control system, the same theory can be applied - all you need is a remote control that can be easily opened. For more inspiration check out Peter's interesting website. And for more, we're on twitter and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well.
Instead of using DIP-format 74HC595s, Peter used our Freetronics EXPAND: Expansion/Shift register modules. They contain the 74HC595 shift register on a small board with standard 0.1" spacing holes that are perfect for soldering header pins into for breadboard use, and a small "power on" LED. By doing this you have a robust vehicle to insert and remove easily without tools or the risk of bending the IC pins. This is only one of our large range of prototyping modules - check the full range today!