Dad Sets World Record With Christmas Lights Display


Photo by Kym Smith/News Corp Australia

Christmas lights are a surefire sign that the holiday season is upon us. But perhaps no one takes holiday decorations quite as seriously as Australian dad David Richards, who claimed the Guinness World Record title last week for his Christmas display made of 1.2 million LED lights.

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Richards, who also holds the world record for the most Christmas lights on a residential property (502,165 in his home display last year), strung together 1,194,380 lights — that’s 75 miles of multicolored bulbs! — to create a 3D image of three wrapped gifts set in front of a illuminated holiday backdrop, according to Guinness World Records.


Photo: Alan Porritt/AAP Image/AP Photo

The holiday display, which Richards set up with the help of volunteers including architects, civil engineers, construction companies and sound engineers, is on display at a shopping area in Australia’s capital city of Canberra and is expected to attract 200,000 visitors, according to News Corp Australia.

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Richards, a lawyer and father of three, uses the extraordinary light show to raise money for Sids and Kids, an Australian organization dedicated to raising awareness for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and supporting bereaved families. In 2002, Richards and his wife lost their one-month-old son Thomas to SIDS, and he told News Corp Australia that he wants to help other parents get the necessary counseling after losing a child. “How do you get in the car and leave?” he told the site about leaving the hospital after such tragedy.


Photo: Stefan Postles/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images

Since starting with his elaborate light displays, Richards has already raised more than $200,000 for the charity, according to Guinness World Records.

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The current light extravaganza, which was nine months in the making, is free for visitors through New Year’s Eve, though donations to Sids and Kids are encouraged.

Richards’ display overturned a previous record of 181,540 lights set in southern Uzbekistan.

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