Australian family breaks Christmas light world record

An Australian family has reclaimed their Guinness World Record by stringing up more than half a million Christmas lights around their suburban home.

502,165 twinkling bulbs and 50 km of wire used in festive display

An Australian family reclaims the Guinness World Record with more than half a million Christmas lights attached to their home 2:39

An Australian family has reclaimed their Guinness World Record by stringing up more than half a million Christmas lights around their suburban home.

Guinness World Records official Chris Sheedy confirmed Monday that the Richards family of Canberra set the record for Christmas lights on a residential property with 502,165 twinkling bulbs.

The family first entered the famous record book in 2001 with 331,038 multi-colored lights. But they were trumped last year by a family in LaGrangeville, New York, who illuminated their home with 346,283 lights.

People look at The Richards home illuminated with miniature lights in Canberra, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013. (AAPIMAGE, Alan Porritt/Associated Press)

The Richards home with its lights on more than 50 kilometers of wire in suburban Forrest will be open to the public from the weekend to raise money for charity.

David Richards — husband of Janean and father of Aidan, 13, Caitlin, 10, and Madelyn, 6 — said most of his neighbours supported the display. But some hadn't spoken to him since the last record was set.

50 kilometres of wire

"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," he said.

He said while he bought the lights, a local power company would donate the estimated 2,500 Australian dollars ($2,300 US) in electricity that would illuminate them for the next month.

He had vowed he had retired from Christmas lights competition after his 2011 record. Richards said he would need a generator to get any more electricity for his home.

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