Ballymena Council will be switching on its Christmas lights tonight (with no doubt many more towns etc to follow suit). This news has helped bring out my inner scrooge. What is the point of spending money on Christmas lights? Is there any evidence that they have an identifiable impact upon shopping behaviour? I find it hard to believe there is. The electric light bulb is a technology that we managed to crack many many decades ago, does seeing them in different colours and predictable designs really manage to differentiate one shopping town from another?