Guitar Player has a helpful article discussing string materials, height, size, durability, and shape. Here’s an excerpt:
HEAVIER STRINGS CAN SOUND BIGGER… BUT NOT ALWAYS: Thicker strings can make you sound bigger, but only if partnered with an appropriate playing style. If you hammer the strings hard to get a lot of movement out of those wires, going up a gauge or two might suite your playing style fine. But if you’re a more delicate player, you might not get those strings moving, and going up a gauge might just choke your tone. Jimi Hendrix is known to have used .009 and .010 sets, and tone monsters Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page both purportedly used super-light sets with .008 high-E strings. Wimps? Ha! SRV used .012 or .013 sets, but also tuned his Strats down a half-step to Eb, which makes a .012 feel more like an .011.