Well ,I can tell you about some of my stuff:
SOUND: I used a regular sound system last year, but am using computer speakers this year. The way I hook these up are by using a cheap CD player, you then plug the speakers into the headphone jack, and then your set. I try to purchase CD players and speakers that use those little transformers, so then u don't need to worry about batteries.
LIGHTS: I got such a good deal with my lights, they were at walmart for 50 cents on a Christmas sale. I had to make holders, because they only came with a stake.
I hope my tips help.