Ever wish you could play a game of catch at night, without needing a powerful light source? Well, with the new SparkCatch LED-illuminated baseball, now you can.
SparkCatch, aka Meteor Baseball, is the brainchild of two Chinese baseball enthusiasts who spent over four years trying to come up with a solution that would allow like-minded baseball fans play the beautiful game anytime, even in the dead of night, without proper lighting. After years of researching materials and concepts, about 100 tests and three generations of prototypes, the two young entrepreneurs managed to come up with an illuminated baseball that can actually withstand being hit with a baseball bat.
Link, one of the co-founders of SparkCatch started working on an illuminated baseball in 2013, despite all of his friends telling him it couldn’t be done. That year, he created his first prototype, which looked beautiful when thrown in the dark, but broke after just the second throw. But the failure didn’t demoralize Link, who, by 2014 already had another prototype and had met Tim, the company’s other co-founder, a designer with fund-raising experience. Together, they would go on to create the world’s first illuminated baseball.
The SparkCatch has the same leather exterior and stitching as a regular baseball, but it’s actually made of an elastic material that is able to withstand bat hit at up to 140km/h without breaking or allowing the electronic components inside to be damaged. Even if water somehow finds its way inside the ball, it can be used again as soon as it dries up, or so its creators claim, anyway.
The lighting components are what make the SparkCatch baseball unique, so its developers have dedicated most of their research to it. The arrangement and the size of the holes through which light is emitted have been tested hundreds of times, as have the number and types of LEDs. Ultimately, the ball was equipped with 4 high-efficiency LED bulbs with a lighting power of 100 lumens.
The SparkCatch baseball is powered by a 23A battery which provides up to 10 hours of use. I assume the battery is rechargeable, although I have not been able to find any information on this, so I’m just speculating.
SparkCatch is currently only available in China and Taiwan, but the company has plans to expand to foreign markets in the future. Until then, you can always import your illuminated baseballs.