I bought some Christmas lights for this year that, unfortunately, did not work so well. The lights were 50 LED color changing bulbs with a board that gives alternating effects. These are extremely popular in the hardware hacking world and can do some very incredible light shows for very little money. The ones that I ordered, on eBay, for about $70, showed up dead on arrival, which means my Christmas spirit is that much more damaged. I’ll be placing these in the mail back to the seller for a refund. Ugh… The previews do look good, but reading the Amazon comments, it seems that many people find these lights do not last all that long. Beware or be willing to have some fun with them.
Because these are LED and running off of simple relay patterns via electrical currents, these are pretty easily hackable. Take a look at this in-depth review of how to re-wire and re-board.