Family reclaims Christmas lights world record
A Canberra family sets the Guinness World Record for having the most Christmas lights attached to their house. Nine NewsPT0M0S 620 349
Canberra's Richards family have turned on more than half a million Christmas lights, reclaiming a Guinness world record they first held in 2011.
Their 331,038-bulb effort was eclipsed a year later when 346,283 lights were powered up at a home in the hamlet of LaGrangeville, New York.
But on Sunday, they took back the title in style.
Record holder ... David Richards has installed 500,000 lights at his home. Photo: Melissa Adams
David Richards says he and his wife Janean and their three kids installed the 502,165 multicoloured streamers, icicles, candy canes, reindeer and other candescent decorations - some more exotic, some less - to raise funds for SIDS & Kids ACT.
"The charity is very close to our heart. We lost a child and SIDS looked after us many years ago," he said.
Setting up the lights takes enormous effort and time but Mr Richards had a lot of help this time from family and friends, and when the power comes on and the tent-like streams of lights under a massive tree are revealed it is spectacular.
Luana Marriott and Patrick Cormac wedding
Luana Marriott and Patrick Cormac were married under 50,000 lights at Luana's uncle's house. David Richards is hoping to regain the world record for the most lights on a residential property. Photo: Jay Cronan
He says his six-year-old daughter Madelyn thinks everyone has a world record house with lights on it, and his other two kids, Caitlin, 10, and Aidan, 13, just enjoy it "a bit like me".
"I have always loved Christmas. Having the Christmas lights with the community coming in and sharing it is a time when you get to know people you probably should know better, I guess."
But SIDS and Kids is the main reason he does the time-consuming task, to raise money for the work they do.
"It was very important for us," he said.
"Anyone who has been through that sort of loss will probably tell you the worst thing that can happen to you is losing a young child."
People can visit the lights after dark from November 30 to December 26 at 3 Tennyson Crescent, Forrest. Entry is via a gold coin donation.
The Richards' last effort raised $78,000 and helped pay for two part time counsellors.
This time, though, they hope to break $100,000.
Trudy Taylor from SIDS and Kids ACT said the organisation got 20 per cent of its funding from the ACT government and donations supported the rest of the work it did with people who have lost a child aged six and under for a range of reasons.
About 150 young children die in the region, which includes parts of NSW and Victoria, each year.
- The SIDS and Kids Christmas lights display will be from December 1-26 at 3 Tennyson Crescent, Forrest.