The Richards family of Canberra in Australia once held the record for the most lights on a home — a world record of more than 331,000 lights.
That record fell last year to a family located in LaGrangeville, New York, who put up more than 346,000 lights.
The Richard’s knew they could do better. Much better. After all, light hanging season is summer in Australia and they were motivated by charity — SIDS & Kids ACT — supported by their Christmas lighting efforts. This year they shattered the record by putting up more than 502,000 lights.
“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.
“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.”
In years past they raised nearly $80,000 for the charity. This year they are hoping to top $100,000.