Pelican 4300 Nemo 8C, retail $53 (
Manufactured by Pelican Products (
Last updated 04-02-07

The Pelican Nemo 8C is a flashlight meant specifically for underwater (diving) use. Since I do not dive or swim, the underwater testing will have to be up to somebody else. For everything else though, come here.

The Nemo is a very bright incandescent flashlight, that uses a 13.8 watt incandescent light bulb, with 8 C cells to feed that bulb. The light I'm testing today comes in a slightly greenish yellow and black plastic case; you can get the case in several other colors if the greenish yellow color pisses you off. ;-)

As you can see, the greenish yellow case does not photograph very well; it reads "NEMO 8C" in fairly large letters on the side of the flashlight body just before you get to the black rear part. No, that's not a shadow in the above photograph; the Nemo really does have a black rear section.


To use your Nemo, feed it first (see below), and then you'll be able to take it into the water with you, or use it on land, if that is your preference.

On the handle of the Nemo, there's a rocker type "trigger" switch. This switch is normally locked in the "off" position by a black plastic slide lock below it; slide this lock downward (toward the bottom of the handle) until it emits one or two audible snapping sounds.

Press in on the raised portion of the rocker switch (the bottom half), so that it moves inward and emits a snapping sound, and your Nemo will blaze to life. Press in on the raised portion of the rocker switch (the top half now) to turn your Nemo back off.

When turned off, slide the switch lock upward (toward the body of the flashlight) until it emits a snapping sound to lock your Nemo in the "off" position; this prevents unwanted activation of the flashlight during storage or transport.

The Nemo uses a magnetic switch of some type; I don't know if this is a reed switch or a Hall-effect switch. Don't store the Nemo near powerful magnets, because it could turn itself on and waste the batteries. When an ETG Strobe was brought near the Nemo's switch, the Nemo turned on even though the flashlight's switch was locked out.

The Nemo feeds from 8 C cells, which you'll have to supply yourself. Battery changing is a bit finicky, so you probably wouldn't want to do it in the woods or on a mountainside, but if you're in a boat, at home, at the office, or other stable location, it isn't so bad.

Unscrew and remove the bezel (head), and set it aside. Lift off the reflector, and throw it overboard...O WAIT!!! YOU'LL NEED THAT!!! So just set it aside with the bezel instead. ;-) Set it face-down inside the bezel assembly if possible; otherwise just set it face-down on whatever surface you choose.

Note how the grey assembly is oriented inside the flashlight body, and then lift it straight out. You don't want to disembowel your Nemo and then not be able to get it back together again.

Hold the grey battery holder in one hand, and twist the cap on top counterclockwise (as if loosening it) with the other hand until it comes free. Set the cap aside. If there are batteries in the holder, remove them and dispose of or recycle them as you see fit. There are two battery compartments on the bottom of this holder too; don't forget to remove those cells too.

Insert six new C cells in the upper part of the battery holder, observing the polarity stickers in each compartment. Once the cells are in, place the cap on the holder, aligning the alignment lines on the cap and the holder. Push the cap down and simultaneously turn it clockwise (as if tightening it) until it sits flush with the battery holder and does not come off by itself.
Turn the holder upside down, and place two more C cells in their chambers, following the polarity stickers in the bottom of these chambers.

On the bottom of the battery holder, there is a sticker with an arrow on it, that reads "Align with switch" or some such horse puckey. Orient the battery holder so this sticker faces the bottom of the Nemo, where the handle is, and slide the holder into the flashlight body.

Turn the flashlight body so the opening faces up. Place the reflector onto the assembly, business-end facing up. Finally, screw the bezel assembly back on, being sure it's on there firmly, hand-tight. Do not use strap wrenches or other tools to tighten the bezel any farther.
Aren't you glad you didn't toss that reflector overboard now? ;-)

Advertised current consumption is 1,170mA (1.17 amps).
Due to the way the Nemo is constructed, I am not able to verify this with my own DMM.

To change the bulb when necessary, unscrew and remove the bezel, and remove the reflector. Remove the grey battery holder from the flashlight body, and remove the cap. Using a blunt instrument like a phillips screwdriver, push the bulb out from the bottom of the cap. Once the flange of the bulb is high enough for you to grasp, pull the burned out bulb straight up. Throw it to the floor or ground, and stomp on it!!! Or just throw it out if you're adverse to breaking things.

Place a new lamp in the holder, and push straight down on it until significant resistance is felt. Place the cap back on the battery holder, and place the battery holder back in the flashlight body (see above). Place the reflector on, screw the bezel back on, and go clean up all that broken glass if you stomped on the old bulb. :-)

The Nemo comes with a spare lamp; this lamp is significantly dimmer and has a shorter overall lifetime (10 hours advertised for the spare, vs. 30-40 hours advertised for the installed lamp) than the lamp that comes installed in the flashlight when you buy it.

Here's a picture of the flashlight's business end, showing the bulb at the bottom of a custom textured reflector, and the rubbery black plastic bezel surrounding it.

The Pelican Nemo 8C is about as tough as a plastic flashlight can get.
I hit the Nemo against a steel rod 15 times (5 on the bezel (head), 5 on the tail, and 5 on the handle), and did not damage the flashlight in any way that I can tell. I had the batteries in it, so the full weight of the flashlight was hit against the rod. It still works properly, as it did when I removed it from the package and gave it its first feeding.

The Nemo is advertised to be waterproof and submersible to 500 feet, so trying to drown it in the commode or the tub would essentially be a useless, wasteful excersize. Yes, I am fully confident that it will be just fine when used in the rain or snow, and if the dog goes to the bathroom on it, just take the garden hose to it - good as new.
After all, you don't want your Nemo smelling like dog piss when you go to use it next.

I don't go swimming or diving, and the Nemo was made specifically to be used underwater. So testing this aspect of the Nemo will have to be up to somebody who does swim or dive and has a Nemo.

I've heard that this is a great dive light, but a not-so-great above-ground light, because of weight and balance issues. Again, I don't go swimming or diving, so testing the Nemo as a dive light would have to be up to somebody who does swim or dive and has a Nemo.

I know I already said this, but the Nemo uses a magnetic switch of some type; I don't know if this is a reed switch or a Hall-effect switch. Don't store the Nemo near powerful magnets, because it could turn itself on and waste the batteries if you do. When an ETG Strobe was brought near the Nemo's switch, the Nemo turned on even though the flashlight's switch was locked out.
This switching mechanism does have a benefit though: the entire body of the flashlight can be made solid, and therefore, sealed against water or pee entry.

Beam photo at ~12".
Measures 1,410cd (1,410,000mcd) on a Meterman LM631 light meter.
The yellow color is incorrect; a more correct (colorwise) photograph is shown directly below.

Beam photo on a wall approximately 14 feet away.
The camera and flashlight were held together, so the beam is of the correct size and is in focus.

The 8-pointed red star on the ceiling is from a custom modified American DJ Laser Widow, the round blue sparking thing on lower the left is a Luminglas Borg lite, and the smaller blue thing on the lower right is an Olympia Info Globe.

Spectrographic plot
Spectrometer plot of the bulb in this flashlight.
Ocean Optics USB2000 Spectrometer on loan from WWW.TWO-CUBED.COM.

ProMetric analysis
Beam cross-sectional analysis.
Image made using the ProMetric System by Radiant Imaging.

Sample was purchased on Ebay, and arrived on 06-01-04.
The link I used is right here, and will remain good until at least 08-18-04. When that link expires, use the View seller's other items link, and see if they're still selling this flashlight.

UPDATE: 08-10-04
I've decided to rate the Nemo 4 1/2 stars and place it in my website's Trophy Case. The fact that is so heavy, in my opinion, is what lopped off that last 1/2 of a star.

Tough and durable construction
Waterproof and submersible to 500 feet
Batteries are relatively inexpensive and readily available
Feels good in the hand - though a bit on the heavy side
Comes with a spare bulb
Great warranty coverage

The Nemo is a heavy flashlight, thanks to those 8 C cells.

    MANUFACTURER: Pelican Products
    PRODUCT TYPE: Large diving flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: 13.8 watt incandescent bulb
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Narrow spot with dimmer corona
    SWITCH TYPE: Protected rocker switch on/off on handle
    BEZEL: Bulb and reflector protected by plastic window
    BATTERY: 8x C cells
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: 1.17 amps (advertised)
    SUBMERSIBLE: Yes, to 500 feet
    ACCESSORIES: Lanyard
    WEIGHT (WITH BATTERIES): 2 pounds 8 ounces
    WARRANTY: Lifetime, except batteries and blubs


    Star RatingStar Rating

Pelican 4300 Nemo 8C *

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