Guinness World Records kicked off its Christmas celebrations last night with the switching on of the most lights on a residential property.
A total of 502,165 lights adorn the Canberra house which belongs to David Richards and his wife Janean.
It marks the second time the couple have held the record, after originally taking the title in 2011 when they decorated their home and property with 331,038 lights.
The purpose of the Richards' attempt was to raise money for charity SIDS and Kids.
Over $78,000 was made from the tens of thousands of visitors to the Richards house, some even flying in from overseas. Those funds meant two new counsellors could be employed to help families that had lost a child through SIDS.
“SIDS and Kids ACT is delighted for David and his family,” said SIDS and Kids ACT CEO Elizabeth Tobler.
“It is a remarkable effort and record. The display has been given a new look and design and I encourage people to once again come out and enjoy the lights.
All monies raised will be returned to the ACT community through bereavement counselling and safe sleeping education services.”
Having sworn to never again undertake such a labour-intensive record attempt, in 2012 David discovered his record had been broken by the Gay family from Lagrangeville, New York, with 346,283 lights.
“Suddenly I had twice the drive,” David says. “I’d be raising more money for SIDS and Kids and winning back our record at the same time.
With over half a million lights on our house, breaking the current record by over 150,000, I hope we’ll hold the record for longer than we did last time and raise even more money for SIDS and Kids. On the downside, my neighbours will think I’m just a tiny bit crazier…”
The display at 3 Tennyson Crescent, Forrest, includes more than 50km of LED string lights, 520 Lightorama channels controlling a 50-metre, walk through, multi-coloured canopy and an 18-metre light-controlled tree (all animated and synchronised to music).
It will be open to the public from Saturday, 30 November from 7.30pm to 10.30pm each night then from 7.30pm to around midnight on December 21, 22, 23 & 24.
The display will be open on Christmas Day and Boxing day until 10.30pm. The lights are powered by ActewAGL’s Greenchoice renewable energy.