Bristol couple provide festive cheer by using 28,000 bulbs to light up home

The preparation for the festivities started on Boxing Day 2022. Credit: PA Images

A couple from Bristol have given their home a festive facelift using 28,000 lights, adding that it is “what Christmas is all about”.

Ian and Ann Cooper, aged 57 and 61 respectively, started planning for their annual light show, aptly named Cooper’s Light Show, a year in advance.

Although last year, Mr Cooper said he began preparing on Boxing Day.

For the last five years starting on December 1, “up to 100 people a day” have flocked to the couple’s property on Andover Road throughout the month to watch the display which sees a performance of colourful lights timed to Christmas music.

The four-hour-long display each night, which has become something of a tradition for the area, sees Mr Cooper place “28,000 lights” around his property, with some even spilling onto his neighbour's fence, to “give back to society” and to see “other people enjoying themselves”.

“We have kids dancing on the driveway, it’s just absolutely amazing – it’s what Christmas is about,” Mr Cooper, who has been a bus driver for 23 years, said.

“We take so much pleasure in seeing other people enjoy themselves.”

The family use 28,000 bulbs to create their Christmas display. Credit: PA Images

He added that while he does the positioning and wiring for the display, his wife, who works for a private medical repatriation company, is “more of the artistic type” so she will sequence the lights to the music.

“We run for the whole month of December and we’ll get anything from up to 100 people a night,” he said.

“The sequencing and planning will start in January, although last year it was Boxing Day.”

Mr Cooper estimates the cost of running the display is £95 a month, adding that if he doesn’t boil the kettle once a night, it “costs nothing”.

“I reckon, including the snow machine, for the whole month of December it costs around £90 to £95,” he said.

“When you think, that’s like boiling the kettle once a night, so if I don’t boil the kettle once a night, it costs me nothing.

“I think £95, that’s me giving back my bit to society.”

The couple are raising money for the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity. Credit: PA Images

Mr and Mrs Cooper also put on a Halloween-themed display every year, featuring lights in the shape of spiders and cobwebs which they then replace with snowflakes and holly leaves in the run-up to the festive month.

The couple have also become foster parents to a seven-year-old boy and Mr Cooper said he was in charge of turning on the lights for the big switch-on.

“For the first year at Christmas we’re going to have a youngster with us so that’s going to be exciting and he loves it,” Mr Cooper said.

For this year’s light display, which runs from 5pm to 9pm every night, the couple are fundraising for the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity which will be collected through cash donations from the visitors each night.

“It’s one of those charities that you hope you never need but it’s nice to know it’s there in case you do,” Mr Cooper said.

“We just want to raise as much money as possible so they can keep up the good work.”