Commercial and Residential Christmas Lights

Have you ever wondered how commercial Christmas lights differ from residential lighting solutions? As consumers become savvier and demand more value for their money, more and more stores are stocking up on commercial lights instead of standard varieties. 

Admittedly, commercial lights are more expensive than their residential counterparts. And, in some cases, the cost difference can be significant. But while the cost of entry for commercial Christmas lights can be steep, you will generally save money over the long term. 

If you aren’t familiar with the vast range of holiday lighting options available, it can be difficult to differentiate between commercial and residential Christmas lights. And with so many sellers labeling consumer-grade products as “commercial” or “professional” solutions, it’s even more challenging to tell the difference. 

Differences Between Commercial And Residential Christmas Lights

To make it easier for you to differentiate between commercial and residential Christmas lights, here are some of the most important characteristics of each. These will hopefully help you make the right choice when it comes time to do your holiday light shopping.

Commercial vs Residential Bulbs 

Commercial and industrial-grade lights almost always have LED bulbs. The traditional incandescent bulbs use up way too much power for commercial applications and are much less reliable besides.

Of course, there are situations where you might prefer incandescent bulbs for their warmer glow and easy accessibility. But LED lights come in a wide variety of colors and designs nowadays, so you can probably find one that offers similar qualities as incandescent lights. 

In any case, be wary of “commercial” lights fitted with incandescent bulbs. Chances are, they are better suited for short-term, residential applications than LED-equipped commercial models.  


Commercial-grade Christmas lights are usually a lot more durable than residential lights. They are built better and use higher quality components, all of which greatly add to their longevity. Consequently, you get a lot more use out of them and won’t have to spend money replacing them every few months. 

Most commercial grade lights also have a one-piece, sealed housings. This prevents dust and moisture from reaching the internal components, reducing the risk of premature damage. Plus, it keeps the bulbs from loosening, so you won’t have to worry about hunting down loose or burnt bulbs.


Speaking of burnt-out bulbs, many commercial-grade lights are designed to keep working even if one of the bulbs gives out. Some will even stay lit even if a few bulbs burn out. In contrast, residential Christmas lights will have to be replaced unless you want to tackle the tedious job of tracing each burnt-out bulb and replacing them one by one. 


Size is another common indicator of the difference between commercial and residential Christmas lights. Lights intended for commercial and industrial applications have C7 LED bulbs, which are noticeably larger than those used in residential lights. These also tend to last longer before needing replacement, so you save more money in the long run despite the higher initial cost. 

Consumer-grade residential bulbs are more economical than commercial lights, having to replace bulbs‒or the entire string‒frequently will result in more expense in the long run. 

Wires and Connectors

Residential lights typically use smaller gauge wire than their commercial counterparts. Furthermore, they tend to have less copper content, and instead have an aluminum core coated with copper. This makes them much less reliable than commercial-grade lights, many of which have large-gauge wiring made solely of copper. 

Commercial lights have coaxial connectors for joining strings together and require a power cord.

Where To Purchase Commercial Christmas Lights

By now, it should be obvious that commercial Christmas lights offer many advantages over residential options. The question then is: where do you buy these lights?

Most retailers, and best of all – us at LED Lights Unlimited!


Whether you decide on commercial or residential Christmas lights, it is always better to purchase them from a reputable seller. Outfitting your home with Christmas lights can be costly, so you want to make sure you are getting the best value for your money.