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To say that David Richards loves to create Christmas light displays is an understatement. In the past four years, the Canberra resident has picked up three Guinness World Records - Two for 'most Christmas lights on a residential property' and one for 'largest image made of LED lights.' On November 27th, the Canberra resident broke yet another record - This time for 'most lights on an artificial Christmas tree.'
The stunning 72-foot tree that was lit up in the presence of thousands of excited residents and a Guinness World Record official featured baubles, presents, and a massive star. All, of course, were sparkling with lights - A total of 518,838 colorful bulbs to be exact! It handily surpassed the previous record of 374,280 lights established by Universal Studios, Japan in October 2015.
Richards first two record-setting displays were personal efforts created with the help of friends and family at his suburban home in Canberra. However, when the increasing popularity of his light displays started clogging the neighborhood streets, the Australian man was forced to seek out a public venue.
Fortunately, he did not have to look far. In 2014, Canberra officials asked Richards to help set up a large LED display at the city's popular Petrie Plaza. The 'crazy Christmas lights guy' as he likes to call himself did not disappoint. His record-breaking 1.2 million light bulb display arranged to resemble giant 3-D Christmas presents was so popular that in 2015, Richards was asked to work his magic on the city's Christmas tree.
As you can imagine, creating these unique displays is no easy task. Richards, who is a lawyer by day, says he spends several months consulting with lighting architects, electrical & civil engineers, as well as designers, planning every last detail.
And while the effort would be well worth it if the records remained uncontested, such is not the case. So far, most of the records set by Richards have been surpassed His 2013 record for 'most Christmas lights on a residential property' was outdone within days by a family in LaGrangeville, NY, who adorned their home with over 600,000 Christmas lights. His 2014 'largest image made of LED lights' record was beaten earlier this year by a picture of a dragon created using 1,529,103 lights at a hotel in Myoka, Japan. Whether his latest record lasts a little longer, remains to be seen.
But Richards does not care about records or fame. His main reason for creating these displays is to raise funds for Canberra-based charity SIDS and Kids ACT. The non-profit is dedicated to eliminating sudden and unexpected death in children from conception onwards and providing programs and services. The cause is dear to the father of three, who lost his one-month-old son, Thomas, to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in 2002. Hopefully, his dedication will pay off, and a cure will be found soon.