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Dad's Christmas dazzle

Forrest father of three David Richards doesn't do Christmas by halves - and has his sights set on a world record to prove it.

After hundreds of hours of hard labour, 29,630m of LED strings, 15,000 cable ties and an 18m light-controlled tree, Mr Richards lit up No3 Tennyson Crescent last night to be in the running for a Guinness world record for the most lights on a residential home.

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In order to claim the record, 250,000 working lights had to be turned on for 10 minutes and video sent off to London for official confirmation. Friends and neighbours gathered about 9pm for the spectacular moment when 331,038 lights burst into life.

But for Mr Richards, going bigger and brighter for the past four Christmases has never been about breaking records. The idea is to raise money for SIDS and Kids (ACT), which helped the family during a time of crisis years ago. ''I did it for my kids initially and then it just got bigger and bigger,'' Mr Richards said. ''I remember one year a mother and child came through the driveway thinking no one was around and they started dancing to the music - it's all about putting a smile on people's faces.''


Mr Richards held a party at his home last week and said the guests ''couldn't believe what they saw''.

''It's not just Christmas lights - it goes in colours and waves up and down the driveway, it changes colour and the tree spins.'' Most of the lights have been bought from a manufacturer in China for an undisclosed cost. ''Nobody, except for Tony in China, knows that [the cost of the lights], not even my wife,'' Mr Richards said.

ActewAGL is sponsoring the Christmas lights display by powering it with green energy.

Entry at 3 Tennyson Crescent, Forrest, is via gold coin donation. All proceeds go to SIDS and Kids ACT.