I used Arduino pro mini as controller for this project, small, cheap and simple. Enough pins event for further modifications/upgrades. 3 tactile buttons are used to set up main settings like temperature range, heating speed, lights animation speed and autmatic turn off time, cooling times, etc.
PTC element is used to warm a spot under the nest and create temerature gradient for ants. Heater and lights are regulated using pwm signals through IRLZ44N mosfets. DS1820 Digital Thermometer is used as temperature feedback to regulate heater. When the lights are on the heating is turned off otherwise power usage for power supply is too high.
I used self contained LED capacitive touch button module to turn lihts on/off, just because it looks cool and is usable without disturbing ants (regular/tactile buttons add unnecessary vibrations). Module is powered by pro mini's pin, so i can reset or turn it off when needed (in case someone forgets to turn off the lights).
As an extra i added Piezo Passive Buzzer (i have tons of them lying around) for indications and warnings.
It was another good chance to combine little bit of woodworking and electronics to make something useful and cool.