What is light industry?

What Does Light industry Mean

We explain what light industry is, where it is, its characteristics and examples. Also, differences with heavy industry.

Light industry produces goods ready to be consumed.

What is light industry?

The light industry or consumer goods industry encompasses those activities that produce goods destined for the final consumer . It differs from other industrial activities such as obtaining raw materials and heavy industry , which produces other types of goods.


Unlike heavy industries, light industries are economic activities that involve lower energy consumption , lower proportions of processed or semi-processed materials and also a much lower environmental impact . Therefore, they can develop within cities and even around residential areas, which is not usually the case with heavy ones.

The most important light industries are usually:

  • Food and drinks.
  • Footwear, textiles and clothing.
  • Tobacco.
  • Books, magazines and newsprint.
  • Medicines
  • Cosmetics.
  • E .

See also: Production process

Light Industry Characteristics

Unlike heavy, light industry produces consumer goods , that is, products that go directly to their final consumer through the marketing chain. For this reason, they are included in the secondary sector of society and the production chain, since their products are usually consumed at a fast and constant rate.

Obviously, this type of industry is much less intensive than heavy. For this reason, it requires relatively small amounts of capital, labor and materials , the latter rarely being some type of raw raw material.

Examples of light industries

Light industry includes the manufacture of everyday items.

Some examples of light industries are:

  • The electronics manufacturing industries , such as cell phones, remote controls, cameras, computers , etc.
  • The food industries , which produce canned, packaged and bottled or "tetra-brick" beverages.
  • The automotive or vehicle parts manufacturing industries .
  • The printers .
  • The woodwork , furniture factories and plumbing parts.

Main countries with light industry

Light industry is much more democratically distributed in the world than heavy industry . Countries as different economically, socially and politically as Brazil, Guatemala, Canada, Peru, Argentina, the United States or Japan are manufacturing powers in various areas, which can tend to technology , textiles, beverages and food.

Many of its products, however, are consumed in its domestic market. For this reason, only the large producers of each category can dedicate themselves to flooding external markets with their merchandise, through exportation.

Heavy industry

Unlike the light industry, dedicated entirely to the consumer, the heavy industry deals with the transformation of the raw material into products that will later be used by other industries . It can be dedicated to the manufacture of semi-finished materials or machinery.

In some cases, these industries include direct extraction from the environment , and in other cases they obtain the raw material from extractive industries. For example, a metallurgical company dedicated to the manufacture of machinery may buy the metal from another company or even import it from another country.

Heavy industry is essential to offer inputs to other subsequent industrial processes. For this reason, they are located in the primary sector of the production chain and are often called "basic industries", since they are at the base of the economy .

However, this type of industry is usually accompanied by a tremendous environmental impact , which is why it is not usually tolerated in residential areas or even within cities . That is why they are usually located directly at the source of the exploited resource, and in any case away from any vulnerable population .

More in: Heavy industry

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