Tactical lighting manufacturer opening in Celestine

BATLite will open its new manufacturing facility in Celestine in May.

The company, which produces specialized lighting engineered specifically for military field applications, has a purchase agreement in place for the former MasterBrand factory at 6385 East State Road 164. BATLite stands for BadAss Tactical Lighting.

According to General Manager Cole Duffy, the company became involved in manufacturing tactical lighting in 2010 through a small business innovation research program offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration. At the time, the military was looking for a rugged, energy-efficient lighting solution for use in the ongoing campaign in Afghanistan.

BATLite’s website states the lights can be dropped, thrown, immersed in water, frozen and keep working in temperatures between -48F and 148F while using 60 percent less energy than other lights. And they have a 50,000-hour life expectancy.

“We worked hand-in-hand with the military to develop the lighting,” Duffy explained, adding they are priced outside the range of everyday use for outdoor recreational activities.

Originally manufactured in New Albany, BATLite was acquired by Rekord Group last November. Rekord specializes in structural solutions for a variety of applications, including military tents, commercial buildings, emergency shelters, training facilities, airplane hangers, and more.

After the acquisition, Duffy was tasked with locating a manufacturing location with room for expansion. He wanted to keep the company in Southern Indiana but was having trouble finding an industrial building. Fortunately, he has a connection to the Dubois County area.

“I like to vacation at Patoka Lake with my family,” he explained.

He found that the former Masterbrand location in Celestine fit the company’s needs. “This building was kind of a diamond in the rough,” Duffy explained. “This is a heck of a building and opportunity.”

As a former manufacturing facility, it meets the company’s current production goals, while its size—about 35,000 square feet—allows for the future expansion Rekord Group is driving.

“We needed a Midwest hub and spoke location so they are purchasing the building and looking forward into growing in the area and community,” Duffy said.

The Celestine location will receive manufactured pieces from around the United States that are then assembled, tested and packaged here.

Duffy said the company has already moved into the building and plans to be operational by May 1. Initially, they are seeking to fill four or five positions, with plans to add more over the next year.

“Our corporate goal is to enrich communities,” he added.

You can learn more about the company at its website here: www.BATLite.lighting. For employment, email cduffy@batlite.lighting.