I've picked up a few sets of Christmas lights over the last few days that should lend themselves to a bit of DIY. I thought I'd detail what I did with each. The first was the Kmart sets of 8 LED icicle lights. These were on special for $10 per set (down from $19). Each icicle tube has its own micro and 5 LEDs that "drip down" independently of each other. Each clear tube is 15mm x 200mm, spaced 300mm apart and wired back to a 4.5V 500mA plug pack. The plug pack measures 8V with no load, and drops to around 5.5V - 6V when running one set. I wired 5 sets of them together to give me one continuous section of 40 tubes. This looks so much better than just one 2100mm section of 8. The splice was done near the end of each set and heat shrunk, but you just need to make sure you get the polarity right. There is a limited amount of reverse polarity protection in each tube, so will protect against brief reversals during this phase. The current draw is hard to measure as the lights are not constantly on, but it seems to be under 100mA for the set. I currently have the 5 sets running off just one of the original plug packs, which doesn't show any signs of overheating. Next year I'll run them of a larger 5V power supply. The quality of this set seems ok, although a bit of silicone around each cable entry would be a good idea to stop water ingress. You can probably pull the top of the tube (cable entry end) off as it seems to use some sort of hot melt glue. You couldn't get half the parts together for the price of $1.25 per tube. Even at normal price, that's only $2.40 per tube for a fully assembled product.