This picture taken on Dec. 19, 2011 shows a house in Canberra, Australia, decorated with Christmas lights.
Credit: Mark Nolan

No one could accuse David Richards and his family of lacking Christmas spirit.

The Australian family of five spent weeks decorating their house and garden in the capital Canberra with exactly 502,165 LED lights, which would stretch more than 31 miles if you laid them end to end on the ground. 

Their efforts – and the extra $2,500 on their monthly electricity bill – have been rewarded with the Guinness World Record for the number of lights on a residential property.

Officials from Guinness authenticated the record with sales receipts, rather than counting each and every bulb.

The Richards family, who were the world champs in 2011 with 331,038 lights, took up the challenge again this year after a New York family snatched the title last year with 346,283 lights.

As well as winning back the record, the Richards also raised more than $78,000 from the thousands of visitors for the charity SIDS and Kids, which funds research into stillbirths, sudden infant death syndrome and safe sleeping practices.

Richards and his wife, Janean, lost a child to SIDS 10 years ago, CNN reported. 

“With over half a million lights on our house, breaking the current record by over 150,000, I hope we’ll hold the record for longer than we did last time and raise even more money for SIDS and Kids. On the downside, my neighbors will think I’m just a tiny bit crazier…” Richards was quoted by the Guinness World Records as saying. 

And just when you thought there couldn't possibly be any more Christmas cheer left to go around, a local renewable energy company has agreed to foot the cost of turning on the lights during the festive season. 

Check out this ITN video posted on YouTube for a look at the Richards' world record-breaking feat. 

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