What is the difference between light and heavy whipping cream, and for what purposes would one want to use one over the other? What effects does the difference have on flavor, texture, etc.?
Heavy Whipping Cream (at least in the States I believe) has a fat content of 36% or greater. Light Cream generally sits between 30% and 36%. Heavier cream generally will have a "richer" taste. Light Cream will also not whip quite as thick and not hold it's form as well. That said, for most cases, I've successfully managed to use them interchangeably. I guess it might make a difference if you were doing something where holding a rigid structure for extended periods of time was important.
Note: What various grades of cream/dairy are called varies by region... Here in Canada we have Whipping Cream 35% and Heavy Cream ~40%. If I were somewhere where "Light Whipping Cream" sat closer to 30%, I might grab something a little higher.