For my specific code, I'm taking result data as it passes through our system. I've broken it out into 3 categories...dog (blue), cat (pink) & other (green). If a result comes in for an animal, it sets the appropriate color. If the result is "good" then the light is dim and drops down at normal speed. If the result is a test we have special interest in, it is brighter. If the result is that special interest test and it's "bad" it is brighter and slower as it drops down.
My specific setup has a "serverChild" that runs the service taking in these calls and talks to the fadecandy server. I then have a "serverParent" that is listening for new results from the system, mines the data and makes the appropriate call to the "serverChild".