'Lite' vs 'Light': What's the Difference Between the Two?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on January 10, 2023

Wondering whether to use ‘lite’ or ‘light’? And what the difference is between the two? We can help clear that up, plus teach you the meaning and how to use both words in a sentence.

Don’t feel like skimming for the answer? Here’s the short one:

  • ‘Lite’ is an informal variant of ‘light.’ It usually means ‘containing less of an ingredient’ or ‘being less complex.’
  • ‘Light’ can be a noun that means ‘something that makes vision possible.’

‘Lite’ vs. ‘Light’ – What’s the Difference?

As you just learned, the difference between ‘lite’ and ‘light’ is that ‘lite’ is an informal variant of ‘light.’ They could technically be considered homophones, since they have different definitions.

The word ‘lite’ isn’t typically used in formal writing, such as academic writing or professional writing.

‘Lite’ vs. ‘Light’ – The Correct Way to Use Each Word 

The correct way to use ‘lite’ would be when you’re referring to the option that has fewer options.

For example, the ‘lite’ version of something is usually the free or free trial version of a product.

But you can use light anytime you mean ‘something that makes vision possible’ or ‘the opposite of darkness.’

Let’s quickly define the words so we know how to use them in a sentence later.

Definition and Meaning of ‘Lite’ and ‘Light’ 

The Merriam-Webster definition of ‘light’ is: “something that makes vision possible,” “the sensation aroused by stimulation of the visual receptors,” “daylight,” “dawn,” “a source of light: such as a) a celestial body, b) candle, c) electric light,” and “a color of notable lightness: a light or pale color > usually plural.”

It also means: “clothing that is light in color,” “sight,” “spiritual illumination,” “inner light,” “public knowledge,” “something that enlightens or informs,” and “a medium (such as a window) through which light is admitted.”

The Merriam-Webster definition of ‘lite’ is: “light” and “diminished or lacking in substance or seriousness.”

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce ‘Lite’ and ‘Light’ 

Not sure how to pronounce ‘light’ and ‘light’? Here’s a short pronunciation guide.

  • To pronounce light, here’s the phonetic spelling: llET.
  • It might also sound like: lait.

How to Use ‘Lite’ and ‘Light’ in a Sentence

Now that we know what the words mean and how to pronounce them let’s take a look at how to use them both in a sentence.

  • Turn off the light when you’re ready to go to bed. It saves energy.
  • In light of recent studies, we’re transitioning to a holistic diet and lifestyle.
  • That light fixture is gorgeous. Where did you get it?
  • I have to talk to you about the new light you installed. When can you come back?
  • We light candles every year on the anniversary of my grandmother's death.
  • “Do you have a light?” asked my fiancé as I exited the building behind him.

Remember, the word ‘lite’ isn’t usually used in formal writing. Therefore, you should only use it in personal writing.

Final Thoughts on ‘Lite’ and ‘Light’

To recap, you learned that ‘lite’ is the informal variant of ‘light.’ It should never be used in professional or academic writing because it’s informal.

If you ever forget which one is the correct one to use, you can always come back and refresh your memory. We’ve got a ton of other content on confusing words and phrases you might come across as you’re learning the English language.

We encourage you to share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Just click those two links - you'll see why.

It's important to share the news to spread the truth. Most people won't.

Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

Add new comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WritingTips.org Newsletter
Receive information on
new articles posted, important topics, and tips.
Join Now
We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.