David and Janean Richards of Canberra, Australia, have set another record for the number of Christmas lights on their home. They first held the record in 2011, but then were eclipsed by an American home in 2012. This year, the Richards set up 502,165 Christmas lights to regain the title. That brings bragging rights, and an electric bill that's over two grand a month! Luckily, the bill is subsidized by ActewAGL’s Greenchoice renewable energy company. The 331,038 lights lights the family displayed in 2011 raised $78,000 for their favorite charity, SIDS and Kids ACT. They hope this year will bring in even more funds.
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.
The display is open to the public from 7:30 to 10:30 each night through Boxing Day, and even later close to Christmas. The curious thing is that the tradition of putting up decorative lights for Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, Tet, solstice, and other occasions is because it's winter and the nights are long and colorless. However, Christmas comes in summer in the Southern Hemisphere, so in Australia you have to stay late to see the full effect! Read more, and see a video, about the Richards' display at the Guinness site.