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How do you make that winkling effect/those bright flashes?

Easy.  Strobe lights!

There are about 100 of them scattered throughout the display - on the roof, in bushes, trees, on the wreath, even strung into the large tree that is center stage.  On command (just like the rest of the display), they can be turned on for a quick punch.  

Here was the breakdown for the 2010 show:

Sides of the garage: 4 each

Holly Tree: 15

Bushes under Holly: 9

Wreath: 6

Bushes under wreath: 9

Large Tree: 15

Garage Roof: 8

Main Roof: 23

Workshop: 5

The strobe lights that I use simply screw into a normal C9 socket.  To wire them, I create my own light strings/harnesses for each area, and place the sockets exactly where I need them.  The main roof is special - It is actually 2 sets of harnesses: A single wire goes across the top of the roof.  From there 5 evenly spaced 'drops' plug into that harness and run down the roof towards the gutters.  

 

 
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