Kel-Lite Generations

1st. Generation:

Designed by Don Keller from 1969-1972 included the Large head KL model, The small Head SKL and the C cell CPL models.

All models were made 2-7 cell. Locations of manufacturing included San Dimas & Covina. Plastic slide switches. Later models of the 1st generation lights were also produced for a short time in BarstowSpecialty lights included the 1 Cell D size small head which used two ½ D size eveready batteries 1.5v ea. 2 cell D size small head with mounting bracket for High Standard Model 10, 12 ga. Shotgun. The first aluminum weapons mounted flashlight.

A few rechargeable tail caps were produced to fit the QualTech charger which converted the D cell Kel-lite into a rechargeable flashlight. This was the first aluminum rechargeable flashlight.

2nd Generation

Metal slide switch design by Norm Nelson from 1974-83 same head styles as above and added a medium head. Also included the Baton light and Stud Light. Metal slide switches. Produced in Barstow, CA. Tail cap stamped with Barstow and longer for storing bulb.

3rd Generation:

Designed by Nelson & Streamlight, 1983 until approx. 1985. Medium head only with push button switch. Produced in Barstow, CA. and Norristown, PA. Kel-Lite attempted to get into the rechargeable market with a tail cap charger, only a few were actually sold.


BARREL MARKINGS 1st. Generation:

  1. Kel-Lite name behind the switch cap. 1969
  2. Kel-Lite name and San Dimas behind switch cap.1970
  3. Serial number next to switch. 1971
  4. Cell size behind switch cap (D-5) & serial numbered. 1973


TAIL CAP MARKINGS 1st. Generation

  1. Knurled edge, no markings (only several hundred manufactured) 1968
  2. Plain edge, no markings. 1969
  3. Plain edge Kel-Lite Industries and Covina stamped in cap 1970-1973
  4. Plain edge Kel-Lite Industries and Barstow stamped in cap 1974

Available colors: Black, Blue, Silver, Gold, Red.

3 thoughts on “Kel-Lite Generations

  1. Dear Kel lite,
    I have a KEL-Lite model D7 SN 006428 that I’d like to clean up and restore. Is there a parts list for this model? Sincerely, George Tyson

  2. I am a retired deputy sheriff. Bought my beloved Kel light, some time in early 70 s. Cap has no markings, or knurling and no markings under plastic switch of any kind! It has Kel light stamped appox. 1/2 inch below the switch
    It’s a 6 D cell and has a long reach, that broke out a many windows, and has many battle scars to prove it, still works even though I have semi retired it 25 + years ago.
    It’s a cherished keepsake,
    Just though you might want to know

  3. I am looking to get my original 1973 Kel Lite rebuilt How do I send it to you

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