In pinball instructions, I always come across the spelling "lite" being used instead of "light", e.g. "drop all targets to lite special". The practice persists to this day in modern pinball machines. I never found out why, but I have some theories: Does it originate from 1940s spelling or slang? (You've got similar spelling in 1940s superheroes like Dr. Mid-Nite) Was it used because of its brevity? (Less letters taken up on the instruction cards) Did it originate for symmetry's sake? (Like four objects to hit on a pinball table to spell "lite" may look more pleasing than five to spell "light"?) I've searched a lot of pinball forums, but couldn't find any answers, and it's bugging me. If someone knows the answer, it mite make my nite rite.
Lite was actually a spelling variant of light till a few decades ago, probably because of their identical pronunciation.
alternative spelling of light (adj.1), by 1962, but used from at least 1917 as a word-forming element in product names, often as a variation of light (n.).
It is in the start of the 20th century that lite gains specialized use in the marketplace, appearing as a word element meaning "light" in commercial brand names. Early examples are Prest-O-Lite (an acetylene-fueled headlight), Auto-Lite (a spark plug), and Kwik-Lite (a flashlight). By mid-century, it is firmly established as an attention-getting equivalent to light, as both a noun and adjective, that people in marketing and advertising begin to exploit in their describing and naming of products. Nite as a word for night was also so used at the time especially in the names of nightclubs.
Today, this "marketing" lite, along with light, is commonly attached to food or beverage items made with a lower calorie content or with less of some ingredient (such as salt, fat, or alcohol) than usual. Some examples are lite popcorn, lite ham, lite yogurt, lite salad dressing, lite juice, and lite beer. When used as an element in a brand name, it is often placed postpositively—that is, at end of another word.