Its a question mainly common among and relevant to the six-string guitar player, as a twelve-string guitar uses both sets (one light gauge and another heavy gauge).
Again this is a discussion about metal guitar strings and not nylon ones.
To be frank, the bottom line of the discussion is that you're the boss. What you feel comfortable with is the best, of course, unless your guitar is not meant for one kind (ask your manufacturer).
Now, to answer this question by a more methodical approach would be to look at the merits and demerits of each kind - a sort of comparison that will allow you to decide what's best for you. So here it goes -
|Points:||Heavy Gauge||Light Gauge|
|1. Gauge||Thick in diameter||Thin in diameter|
|2. Common Metal||Bronze, Copper||Steel|
|4. Stiffness||Usually more||Usually more flexible|
|5. Tension Applied||More tension applied by the turnkey||Less tension used|
|6. Left-hand Pressure||Requires more pressure to sound for a note or a chord||Requires less pressure to sound for a note or a chord|
|7. Strength needed to tune||More||Less|
|8. Force of Strum||More required||Less required|
|9. Long term effects on the Guitar Neck||More prone to bend||Less prone to bend|
|10. Life Expectancy of the Guitar||Usually less||Usually more|
|11. Life of the Strings||the 6th, 5th and 4th rarely, if even, break||Anybody's guess|
|12. Suited for beginners||Only if you have a good forearm strength already||Good for newcomers; more so for kids|
|13. Overall Ease of Play||Less||More|
|14. Sound Quality on Acoustic||Louder; Heavier; More bass||Quieter; Sharper; More treble|
|15. String Bending||Quite difficult for the higher strings||Easier for all strings|
|16. Holding Tuning||Holds better||Pore prone to lose tuning|
|17. Suitable for Performance||More; More professional||Less; Less professional|
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