Ray, a self-professed "lightaholic" says his passion for Christmas lights is like an obsessive disorder. Read on for details of his amazing Christmas lights display.
Names/ages of family members
Ray Moore 59 and wife Dawn 65
How long have you been lighting your house?
“This is the 9th year.”
Why do you do it?
“Who bloody knows? Seriously though, you get so much personal satisfaction out of doing it. It’s about achieving something that the public are generally in awe about. I believe that everyone who comes to see my yard are kids again and it takes them back to a time when Christmas was the greatest time of year for them. In every child’s growing up years, Xmas is the time of your life and that’s where it takes you back to. Seeing the looks on the faces of people from kids to the elderly is the biggest satisfaction and reason why I love to do it.”
How long does it take to put up and take down the lights?
“There are four of us working three months of weekends (so that would equate to a good month’s solid work).”
Where do you store them all?
“Under the house, under the bed, in the cupboards, anywhere there is spare space. To put them all away is a massive squeeze; I have a games room that used to be used for playing pool but it’s now full of lights and I have a car garage where the car no longer lives because it’s full of lights.”
Total number of lights/wattage?
“I have approximately 140,000 bulbs with most of the lighting being transformed into 12w and 24w. We use about 83 amps and 45 is the typical for a family of four. Very hard to make a coffee at my place at Xmas time!”
Total amount spent on lights over the years?
“Nine years ago we bought a couple of lights, liked them, and then went straight back out and bought another 5000. We have doubled the amount of lights every single year.
On average we spend $10,000 dollars a year on lights plus $15,000 beautifying the front yard and $8000 dollars on the train and train track. So over the years I have spent in excess of $100,000 on the whole display.”
How many lights do you add each year?
“We double the amount of lights year on year except this year because we’ve run out of room. All I can do is re-theme areas but adding new lights is problematic because of space.”
Roughly how much would you spend on new lights annually?
I would spend double the previous year.
What do the lights add to your energy bill?
I think probably about three times the norm or average that a family of four would pay.
How would you describe your lights?
I’m getting out of the norm – red, yellow, blue and green – and starting to buy colours like iridescent blue, pinks, purple etc… Basically I am trying to get away from the typical Christmas colours.
With all the special touches I try to cater for both adults and kids. The Fibre Optic room looks like a Christmas scene in Austria – European people get homesick when they see it! This year, we are doing a Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs theme. Snow White is a mannequin with the Seven Dwarfs being seven dolls. Previous years we have had Hansel and Gretel, Teddy Bear Picnic, Twas the Night Before Xmas. Every year we have Thomas the Tank Engine on the train track, which is a huge draw for the kids. If I didn’t have Thomas I think I would be shot because that’s why the kids come. We also have a Chocolate House where even the adults try and eat the display (its plastic!).”
Any special features that set your lights apart?
“When you look up at my display, you see nothing but lights. The main canopy has 23,000 lights in it alone and from the road it just looks like a house made out of lights. I have a firecracker light from China which sits at the top of the main maypole – 5.5m high. When people see it you can just hear “woah!”
However the biggest special feature is the train track; there is a country and western town at one end of the track with an Indian village at the top. There is a working water falls with the water fall feature going over the train track, a rock garden railway and my train is one of the only model trains in the world that is designed to be outside as it’s so big. It’s a G model railway – largest of all the model trains – upwards of 20 carriages and stretches for 4 metres.”
Are you part of a lighting street culture, or a one off in your street?
“I am a complete one off. I have been trying for years to get the street to string up one set of lights but they say I have enough for everyone! They wind me up by saying their lights go dim when I turn my power on. Most of the street thinks it’s fantastic though. But we do have our problems though; queues up the main street for a quarter mile, people run into people, buses hit trees, it becomes chaotic. We asked the council and the police to make it a one way street for one month of the year but it didn’t happen. However, the police always come to see us every year and see how it’s all going.”
What are the most popular elements of your display?
“The main canopy is very popular but the train is most popular with the kids.”
Your personal favourite light/s?
“My fibre optic room, which looks like a miniature Alpine town. Picture the Alps, with millions of lights all over the town, people ice skating etc….something totally out of a Xmas fantasy.”
Do you think you’re addicted to house lighting?
“I think I have an illness, I’m sick! I’m a “lightaholic”. For me, you can’t have too much, you’re always looking to better it, not just at Xmas but all year round. It’s like a compulsive disorder, I don’t think of anything else all year. My wife goes nuts because I buy Xmas lights in January, when Xmas has finished.”
Any foreseeable end to your house lighting journey, or are you in it for the long haul?
“I have been threatening to do it until I can’t do it anymore and I am still going. There will be a time when I won’t physically be able to do it anymore. But I have so many people helping me at the moment it’s not a problem. Companies like Onsite Access and Express Hire are very helpful to me putting up the lights. In fact I would like to thank everybody who gives a hand with my Xmas lights because without them, it wouldn’t be possible. My daughter works tirelessly, she never stops. She’s my artist she – does all the intricate artwork and my wife puts up with so much crap so I must thank her too.”
Watch Aussie Christmas Lights on The LifeStyle Channel.
See the streets with the best Aussie Christmas Lights display in your area.
Find out more about Aussie Christmas lights on The LifeStyle Channel.