David Richards has broken the world record for using the most number of lights on an artificial Christmas tree. The Canberra businessman and lawyer breaks the record which was previously held by Universal Studios Japan in Osaka for five years.

Richards lit up his Christmas tree on Friday with 518,838 lights in downtown Canberra. The tree is topped by a 1.5-metre star made of 12,000 bulbs. The Japanese tree set a record by using 374,280 lights earlier in October.

The Guinness World Record has confirmed Richards’ achievement. The “Christmas Lights Man” switched on at 20:45 Australian time on Friday in the presence of an official Guinness World Records Adjudicator, who confirmed the new world record.

A team of volunteers got together with Richards to erect a 22-metre steel tree. The Japanese tree, however, is taller with 36 metres. Richards’ team consisted of masons, steel fixers, carpenters, welders, a structural engineer and an electrical engineer.

"Some people say I've got quite a knack for getting people to do things for nothing," The Associate Press quoted Richards as saying.

"I get people to do things for nothing because they know that I do things for nothing and I'm contributing my own money, resources, time and effort as well — so maybe they feel sorry for me."

This is not the first time Richards set a world record. In 2013, he set his first world record for using the most number of lights on a residential property. He covered his suburban house with 502,165 lights.

His second record was in 2014 when he used 1,194,380 LED lights in a public place. He created the largest ever image created with LED lights. He wrapped Christmas presents in a Canberra mall with 120-km multi-coloured wire.

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