While the original Sputnik burnt out after only 3 months in orbit, here's an homage that promises to be rather more resilient. IDEA, Japan's answer to you know who, is offering a 30cm tall (11.8-inches) self-sufficient ambient light that pretty much does its own thing. Integrated sensors detect when the light should be on, while inconveniences like power cords and on/off switches are completely done away with. The light's batteries are recharged by the sun at a rate of 2 to 5 hours sunlight for 8 hours operation, while its waterproof design means it can be dumped outside to collect rays during the day and even provide garden lighting at night. It's quirky, to be sure, but the obvious design cues taken from the Russian satellite should make true geeks smile with glee. You can find a gallery of the various color choices courtesy of Engadget Japanese below, and if you're passing by the land of the rising sun later this month you can snap up your very own solar light ball for ¥1575 ($16).

[Via Engadget Japanese]

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IDEA's Solar lamp glows like a Sputnik heatshield