To begin: Yes, there is a difference between standard-grade string lights and commercial-grade string lights. Although some people think that the difference occurs in the light bulbs, that is not the case. Actually, the difference between these types of light strings lies in the wires and the sockets that hold the bulbs.
As you would expect with a commercial-grade product, with commercial-grade string lights you get wiring and bulb sockets that are built beefier and made to last longer. In addition, commercial-grade light stringers typically boast weatherproof features. Commercial-grade bulb sockets, for instance, may be made of PVC that provides a tight, weatherproof seal around each light bulb. The wire gauge in the cords of commercial-grade light strings will be thicker and the cords will be better able to withstand the weather.
That does not necessarily mean standard-grade light strings should not be used outdoors. What it does mean is that commercial-grade light stringers are a smarter solution for permanent or long-term installations. They are also better for hard wiring. Thus it's worth spending a little extra if you plant to install your light stringers permanently or for a long time on your patio or landscape or at your home or business. Standard-grade light strings make a sensible, affordable choice for parties, wedding receptions and other temporary events.
Each type of light string will give you practically unlimited choices in sizes, types of bulbs supported and many other features. Your choice ultimately will come down to how you plan to use your light strings, your taste and your budget.