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This man has half a million Christmas lights in his front lawn, and a world record

There was a time when a home owner’s exterior Christmas decorations consisted of little more than a string of cheap fairy lights hung loosely around a window frame and a holiday wreath stuck on the front door.

Australian David Richards, however, has taken the whole shebang to the extreme, covering his Canberra home in so many LED lights that in the video below showing the sparkling spectacle you can’t see his house.

Richards took around a month to set up the decorations, using half a million lights (or 502,165 to be exact) spread along string which if you rolled it out straight would stretch a distance of 29.8 miles (48 km).

A few of Richards' lights.

A few of Richards’ lights.

The dazzling display has helped Richards and his family to reclaim the Guinness World Record for the most number of Christmas lights, a record for which I admittedly had no idea there was such a battle to hold. He first made it into the record books two years ago with a display of 331,038 lights but lost out to a US family in LaGrangeville, New York, who last year decorated the outside of their home with 346,283 lights.

The Canberra man says the lights are likely to add an extra AUS$2,500 ($2,300) to his electricity bill for the month of December, but hopes his efforts will be worth it as he plans to raise money for charity when the illuminations open to the public this weekend. In 2011 the light show raised around AUS$77,000 ($71,000) for charitable causes.

Richards, a barrister when he’s not up a ladder, said, “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.”

However, while some neighbors have welcomed Richards’ record-breaking efforts, others have reportedly stopped speaking to him, possibly peeved by the nightly commotion of excited visitors and exceptionally bright evenings.

[via Canberra Times] [Top image: Dasha Petrenko / Shutterstock; Bottom image: Guinness]