What’s the Difference Between Commercial, Industrial and Residential Lighting?

outdoor lighting

Outdoor lighting installations and upgrades come in all project shapes and sizes, including small residential ventures, medium-scale industrial plans all the way up to some larger proportion commercial lighting schemes. While you already know that each game plan requires illumination, what you probably don’t know is that an assortment of fixtures and bulbs may be required depending on which field you’re building or upgrading. That’s why we wanted to outline the similarities and differences between residential, industrial and commercial grade lighting.

What is residential lighting?

The light fixtures and bulbs that you use in and around your home, such as your kitchen, garage, garden and driveway. Although many lighting components are best suited to either indoor or outdoor conditions.

What is industrial lighting?

The light fixtures and bulbs that are used in various manufacturing buildings and factories are built specifically suited to industrial lighting. Many industrial lights are more durably equipped to withstand tougher, more hazardous conditions in places such as chemical plants, mines or refineries.  

What is commercial lighting?

The lights and fixtures that are used in any type of business that isn’t manufacturing, such as hotels, restaurants, retail shops, warehouses and offices are considered commercial lights. Also, the outdoor lighting that is seen in your city, such as public street lamps, bridges and what surrounds government buildings is also typically commercial grade lighting.

How do these lighting systems differ?

The key things to consider between all the varied fixtures and bulbs are flexibility, energy efficient and maintenance costs. However, each type of indoor or outdoor lighting is versatile to the needs of the industry it’s used in.

  • Residential lighting: The lighting fixtures and bulbs that are used in and around your home are generally the cheapest and offer the shortest lifespan. However, there are many Outdoor LED Lights and low voltage products on the market that is changing this perception. The best part about residential lighting is that it’s also the cheapest to operate, requiring a small amount of maintenance (replacing bulbs etc.) and even comes with a reasonable warranty on the fixtures.
  • Industrial lighting: Generally speaking, industrial lighting fixtures and bulbs are significantly more expensive because they’re manufactured to endure rougher conditions (sparks flying from welding, heavy items falling on or near them etc.). However, industrial lights are able to provide a high level of durability and usually come with a longer warranty than your traditional lighting fixtures.
  • Commercial lighting: The lighting fixtures and bulbs that are used in and around commercial buildings cost a mid-level amount because the initial outlay takes longer. The lighting products are more expensive than residential lighting, but they typically last longer and are made to enduring harsher conditions. The best part about commercial lighting is that there are more options for energy savings because you’re typically able to buy low voltage commercial products in bulk. The downside is that upgrades and installations usually involve hiring a contractor to do the work which limits the ability for many commercial properties to perform regular maintenance.

What fixtures do you have in your home or business? Post in the comments section below to join in on the discussion.


Alex Wilks is the Social Media & Content Creator for Trek Marketing. Her work has been featured on Global News, Black Press Media, andthe Kwantlen Chronicle