Australian sets world record by stringing up almost 1.2 million Christmas lights

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CANBERRA, Australia — An Australian lawyer has set a world record by stringing up almost 1.2 million Christmas lights in the center of the national capital.

Guinness World Records on Friday confirmed that the 120 kilometers (75 miles) of multicolored wire strung in the shape of three interconnected giant, wrapped Christmas gifts in a downtown Canberra mall was the largest ever image made of LED lights.

Lawyer David Richards assembled the Canberra light show with the help of an army of volunteers and powers it with electricity donated by a local power company.

He set a Guinness World Record a year ago for the most Christmas lights on a residential property by cocooning his Canberra home with 502,165 bulbs.

However, traffic snarls in his neighborhood created by 75,000 sightseers who visited the display over four weeks made it difficult for his family to get to and from their home.

"I couldn't do it again to my neighbors or my family," Richards said, explaining the move to the city center.

The latest light show will be open to the public free of charge from Friday until New Year's Eve.

Visitors to the 2013 light show donated 138,000 Australian dollars ($117,000) to a local Canberra Sudden Infant Death Syndrome counselling and support service.

Richards said he expects donations to the SIDS and Kids ACT charity will be higher with the bigger and more spacious display.

The 1,194,380 twinkling bulbs arranged since Wednesday beat the previous record set in Shurtan in southern Uzbekistan by 181,540 lights.

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