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

outdoor lighting

Lighting projects come in all shapes and sizes, from bright LED lights in a factory to warm accent lights in your home. It’s helpful to know about the key differences between residential, commercial, and industrial lighting fixtures and designs. 

What is Residential Lighting?

Residential lighting refers to light fixtures and bulbs in and around your home, such as in your kitchen, bedroom, garage, garden, and driveway. This includes everything from your outdoor pathway mushroom lights to your bedroom ceiling lights and your kitchen hanging pendants. Residential lighting should be practical while creating a comforting and inviting atmosphere. 

What is Industrial Lighting?

Industrial lighting designs are the light fixtures and bulbs you see in various manufacturing buildings and factories, such as emergency lighting, LEDs, and fluorescents. These lights are better equipped to withstand more hazardous conditions in places like chemical plants, mines, or refineries. 

Hazards are a lot more dangerous in a poorly lit work environment. Choosing the right lighting enhances the performance and safety of the workers. Industrial light manufacturing is focused on safety and visibility rather than aesthetics.

What is Commercial Lighting? 

Lighting for commercial buildings refers to light fixtures used in any type of business that isn’t manufacturing, including hotels, restaurants, government buildings, schools, malls, and retail shops. This also involves all types of commercial street lighting, including solar street lights, street light poles, and LED street lights. Contract-grade lighting is specially designed for public buildings and spaces with visibility, safety, and aesthetics in mind. 

How Do These Lighting Systems Differ?

Here are the key differences:

Residential Industrial Commercial
Purpose For in and around homes For manufacturing plants, factories, and industrial spaces For public spaces and commercial buildings like schools, shopping malls, city streets, and hotels
Durability Durable but not the longest lasting unless you purchase LED technology with a long lifespan Manufactured to last a long time with optimal functionality, visibility, and brightness Built to last and look stylish for a long time
Cost Usually more affordable than other types of lighting unless you’re considering real crystal chandeliers everywhere The most expensive because they’re made to withstand harsh conditions in manufacturing plants Typically more affordable than industrial lights, but more expensive than residential
Design / Aesthetic Designed to be homey and attractive to suit a residential property Designed more for visibility and safety than aesthetics Designed for visibility, safety, and aesthetics to build character in the town or city

Residential Lighting

Lights inside and outside your home are often the most affordable, with minimal maintenance required and the shortest lifespan. However, Best Pro Lighting offers the latest cutting-edge LED bulbs and low-voltage products that are swiftly changing this perception because LEDs can last for 25,000 hours or longer. Our residential lighting products also come with a reasonable warranty.  

Industrial Lighting

Industrial lighting fixtures generally have a higher cost because they’re manufactured to endure harsher conditions, like sparks flying from welding. Industrial LED light fixtures are especially durable and have a longer warranty than traditional fixtures. Updates and installations typically involve hiring a professional contractor. 

Commercial Lighting

Lighting for commercial buildings is more expensive than residential lighting, but not as much as industrial. The lights are made to last a long time. Upgrades and installations typically involve hiring a contractor. You can save energy and money by purchasing low-voltage commercial building lighting and commercial LED light bulbs in bulk.


Frequently Asked Questions


1. Where Can You Buy High-Quality Outdoor Lighting Products?

Our Best Pro Lighting outdoor fixtures are decorative, durable, long-lasting, and high-quality. We offer the most innovative LED technology and stylish designs that will level up your outdoor space.

2. Which Type of Light is Commonly Used in Residential Areas?

In and around homes, you’ll see overhead lights like ceiling spotlights that illuminate an entire room. You’ll also see warm accent lighting, such as recessed, cabinet, or stairway lights, that decorate and showcase a particular object or area. Warm lights give bedrooms a cozy feel. Neutral, whiter light can improve focus in kitchens, garages, and utility rooms. LED color-changing lights are used more for holidays or fun, playful rooms. 

3. How Much Should It Cost to Install a Light?

Installing a new light fixture can be as low as $75 or as high as $900 or more. It varies depending on the type and number of lights, whether you hire a professional or DIY, and other factors. 

Hiring a Professional

A handyman or electrician will probably charge more to install recessed lighting compared to mounting lighting because they usually have to cut the drywall. For example, installing recessed lights can cost between $125 to $230, and ceiling lights can cost between $90 and $230. Installing special industrial and commercial lights might cost more.


When installing a fixture yourself, your only expenses are the fixture and the tools to install it. At the very least, you’ll probably need wire strippers, wire nuts, a screwdriver, and a voltage detector, all of which cost less than $20 each. Some lights are easier to install than others. The cost of the fixtures varies from as little as $30 to in the thousands. 

4. Do You Need an Electrician to Replace an Outside Light? 

Most people can switch out bulbs if they’re replaceable. Replacing entire fixtures is another story. If you’re not completely comfortable with your electrical knowledge and skills, hiring a professional electrician is best. 

5. Are Outdoor Lights Waterproof?

Best Pro Lighting only offers water-resistant, durable outdoor lights with excellent Ingress Protection (IP) ratings — a marker used to classify the degree of protection an electrical enclosure provides against the intrusion of moisture and solid particles. 

6. What are Common Outdoor Lights for the Patio?

Make your patio glow with several popular and attractive outdoor lights, including:

7. How Do I Choose an Outdoor Porch Light?

Outdoor porch lights are used for different purposes. For example, directional lighting spotlights a statue or the wall of your house. Wall, step, and pathway lights lead the way, whereas flood lights brighten and boost visibility. 

8. What are the Best Outdoor LED Lights?

Our energy-efficient, long-lasting outdoor LED lighting designs have impressive lifespans and can last over 20 times as long as traditional bulbs like incandescent.

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, and the Kwantlen Chronicle