Star and Galaxy Projectors – reviews and buying guide
Though you might remember falling asleep to glow in the dark stickers of planets and stars on your ceiling, you now have a much easier way to view those constellations thanks to star and galaxy projectors. It’s not just constellations either, some will project nebulae other features too. These projectors are easy to use because they work with any nearby outlet. You simply plug one in and climb into bed as the stars and planets move across the room around you. These small devices can also replace the night light that your child uses. To find the best star projector, you can view the following product reviews and descriptions and then check out the frequently asked questions section to learn more.
Uncle Milton In My Room Star Theater Pro Home Planetarium Light Projector
The rounded design of this projector ensures that the stars and other decorations it displays will float around the room and bounce off all the walls. It features an optical lens system that displays those images in good clarity and a focus that you can adjust if those images become fuzzy. You can choose from two different automatic times when using this projector as a night light. It will shut itself off after 30 minutes of use or 60 minutes of use. This model also comes with a mini USB cord that is compatible with wall charges that you have or purchase separately. It projects an impressive 10,000 stars and images around the room.
- Includes a micro USB cord for convenient use
- Features two automatic timer settings
- A large base keeps the light from tipping over
- Has an optical lens and focus
- Projects 10,000 stars
- Does not include a wall adapter
- Is a little cheaper than you might expect
One of the easiest to use star and galaxy projectors comes from Sega, the same company that made video game consoles in the past. The front of the projector features both a convenient on/off switch and an automatic timer mode that lets you choose between a 15, 30 or 60 minute timer. This instantly starts a countdown that tells the projector when to shut down. You can use the other two buttons to choose how the stars will move and to add shooting stars to the display. Sega includes two discs and lets you purchase more than 30 discs to use with this projector too.
- Features three automatic timer settings
- Works with the included discs and optional discs
- Has a shooting stars setting
- Works on any white surface
- Projects images up to 90 feet away
- The display may not look as realistic as you hoped
- Does not work well in small rooms
Another star and galaxy projector that is worthwhile is the Homestar Classic from Sega. It has a fun case in a shade of metallic blue that might remind you of the night’s sky. You can set the timer to run for 15, 30 or 60 minutes and add a shooting star effect to the display. The Homestar Classic comes with a small stand that supports the projector and doesn’t require a lot of counter or table space. Included with the projector are several discs that let you select the display and images that you want to view. It’s compatible with other discs that are available from Sega too.
- Compact size reduces its overall footprint
- Includes constellation and galaxy discs
- Features 15, 30 and 60 minute timers
- Compact base keeps the projector in place
- Recreates the planetarium look in your home
- Is not as bright as other projectors are
- Image quality is a little lacking
Perfect for kids’ bedrooms, this YSD projector has a fun design that incorporates bright colors across the surface. It comes with a remote control that lets you set the timer, turn the projector on and off and change its rotation. That remote also lets you turn on a warm light function when using the projector as a night light. This is one of the only galaxy projectors that you can use outside, which makes it a good choice for camping. It has timer settings of up to five hours and a built-in battery that lasts for up to 14 hours. You can choose from several colors, all of which work with an included USB cord for charging.
- One to five hour timer settings
- Comes with an included remote control
- Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
- Has an LED display on the front
- Includes built-in battery and a battery charging cord
- Not suitable for small children because of its small parts
- Images and displays can look fuzzy
When you can’t go to the aurora borealis, you can bring the aurora borealis to you with this SOAIY night light projector. It recreates the gorgeous looks of the northern lights and places those lights in your home. If you want to switch to a different setting, you can choose from seven different light displays. The projector can run all night, but it also has one, two and four hour timers that you can use. It also lets you choose between a still or a rotating image and from three different brightness settings. Thanks to the built-in speaker, you can plug in a phone or music player and listen to music as you relax to the moving lights.
- Includes three timer settings: one, two and four hours
- Comes with a handy remote control
- Has three brightness and eight color displays to choose from
- A built-in speaker is compatible with most electronic devices
- Includes both still and rotating display settings
- Some features may stop working after a few months
- The displays aren’t as bright as shown on the box
One of the best planetariums for kids is this model from Discovery Kids, which looks just like a NASA shuttle about to launch. A large button on the front makes it easy for them to choose between space and sky displays to see what they want to see. The three included discs have more than 20 images that foster the imagination of kids, and it rotates in a 360-degree direction to keep them from growing bored. An automatic setting keeps those slides rotating as your child drifts off to sleep. This also serves as a STEM toy that will get kids thinking and make them want to learn about the stars and planets.
- Kids can easily use the large button to change between modes
- Looks like a realistic NASA shuttle
- Runs on ordinary AA batteries
- Includes more than 20 images on two discs
- Features sky and space modes
- Does not work with any discs other than those included
- Some parts are very small
With five color settings to choose from, this projector can help you fall asleep or entertain guests at your next party. A solid base located on the bottom supports the weight of the projector, but this base also features an arm that lifts the projector off the ground to throw those lights and images all around the room. You can use the numbers on the arm, which look like microscope settings to select the exact area of the night’s sky that you want to see. Laminated sheets come with this projector that you’ll connect together and attach to the projector to view those displays. Some users may have problems attaching those pieces.
- Lets you select different areas of the sky to view
- Includes a base that keeps the projector from sitting flat on your nightstand
- Have five color settings that you can choose from
- Comes with durable laminate sheets
- Suitable for both kids’ and adults’ bedrooms
- Requires some assembly at home
- Not as durable as other projectors
Suitable for use as a night light and a projector, this model comes with a shade that easily slips on and off. Kids can use it without the shade when they need a night light and add the shade to view all the stars and planets in the sky. It has three films that you can use with the shade to see more stars or a full universe. Another film wishes a special someone a happy birthday. This projector will run off AA batteries or a USB cord and offers six lighting choices. You only need to press a button on the base twice to move to a new lighting effect. The projector offers both still and rotating displays too.
- Includes rotating and still display options
- Runs on USB power or AA batteries
- Works as both a projector and a night light
- Simple operation and design makes it suitable for kids
- Features six different lighting effects and settings
- Requires the use of a USB cord and adapter if you don’t want to use batteries
- Does not include a timer function
Kids who love watching the Smithsonian Channel will love this science kit from the same company, which lets them view stars and constellations in their bedrooms. It comes with slides that use high-definition images and lets kids choose the type of skies they want to view. They can combine those images together to create more than 50 displays that include stars, planets and even astronauts. Designed for those over the age of eight, the projector helps kids study the planets and learn about space, which makes it one of the few projectors that serve as a STEM toy. It also features a timer setting that shuts the projector off after 15 to 30 minutes.
- Includes dozens of slides that create more than 50 combinations
- Uses high-definition images
- Has 15 and 30 minute timer settings
- Easy to use
- Suitable for children as young as eight
- Some images are more blurry than others
- Includes some cheap parts
Star and Galaxy Projector Buying Guide
The chances are good that you used some type of projector in the past. This type of technology allows you to host movie nights in your backyard and create work presentations that all employees and clients can easily see. No matter how much experience you have, you may have a hard time finding the right star and galaxy projector for you or your children though because these models are so different from those you used in the past. You can pick the right projector when you use this buying guide to learn what you should consider.
One feature you should consider before buying a projector is its overall size. This is especially true of the one you want to use in a child’s bedroom. Some of the models designed for adults are small in size and feature small pieces that kids can easily pull off and put in their mouths. You should also think about the size of the buttons too. Kids often have an easier time with larger buttons, while adults can use smaller buttons.
Most star and galaxy projectors use an AC adapter and plug into a wall outlet. You can also choose models that come with a rechargeable battery and/or a USB cord. With a USB cord, you can buy a new adapter or use one that you have for an old cell phone. Most USB cords are quite short though. You’ll either need to use the projector close to an outlet or spend money on an expensive and long cord.
When shopping for a model that comes with a rechargeable battery, you’ll want to see how long it will last. A good light projector should run for up to 10 hours. This allows you to sleep through the night without the battery running out. Some batteries can last for 12 to 14 hours between charges, which lets you use the projector several nights in a row without charging it every day.
Do you like the idea of using a star projector as you fall asleep but hate the idea of wasting power as you sleep? Most light projectors come with a timer setting that lets you set the timer for a specific amount of time. This can range from 15 minutes to several hours. As soon as it reaches that time limit, the projector will shut down. Some of the models suitable for parties and outdoor use have a timer of five hours or more, which help you can keep the party going all night long.
Lighting Modes and Options
When you’re relaxing and listening to music, you want a mild lighting effect that won’t disrupt your senses. This type of effect is also suitable for use as you sleep or head to bed. A brighter lighting effect can turn your home into a planetarium or the ultimate party pad. The odds are good that you’ll want to change between lighting and brightness modes based on how you want to use the projector. It’s important that you pick one that features more than one mode.
One of the best ways to make sure that you choose the right projector is with a look at some reviews posted by customers who bought those same products. Some of the things you should consider when looking at reviews include:
- the star rating awarded
- who purchased the projector and who they bought it for
- whether the buyer purchased other products
- any details regarding battery life and other important features
It’s important that you consider both the overall rating and the number of positive and negative reviews. This lets you see whether the projector lasted beyond a few months and if it can meet all your needs.
Still vs. Rotating Displays
You’ll likely come across the terms still display and rotating display when shopping for a night projector. Both terms refer to whether the images move or remain still. A projector with a rotating display will move the images across the room and bounce them across the ceiling and walls. Those that have a still image project the display in one specific area, which can include one wall or the ceiling. You may find it helpful to look for one that includes both modes.
Shoppers should also consider the display type because projectors can either feature realistic or whimsical images. Those with realistic images will include all eight planets and may include Pluto as well. You’ll also see constellations and star groups that are exactly the same as those you see in the sky. Those projectors let you recreate the feel of being in a planetarium in any room of your home. Those with whimsical or stylized images are better suited for kids. They may include aliens flying through the sky in spaceships and astronauts interacting with the stars. While these models are fun, they are generally better for kids than they are for adults.
You can only use projectors when you have enough space in the room, which may require placing it in the center of the room rather than next to your bed. If you select the wrong settings before laying down though, you’ll need to climb out of your comfortable cocoon to adjust the projector before bed. Those that come with a remote control give you the freedom to adjust settings while you’re in bed or sitting on the opposite side of the room. The only problem with these models is that you often need to use the remote control to access all the features and settings. If you lose the remote, you’ll need to purchase a new one or forgo some of those features.
Ease of Use
The last and most possibly important thing to consider is the overall ease of use of the galaxy projector. If you buy one that requires multiple steps to set up and use, you might leave that projector off every night. Some of the models now available require some setup and assembly on your part before you can use one. Unless you feel comfortable and confident in your assembly skills, you might prefer one that comes already put together and ready for use in your bedroom.
Frequently Asked Questions About Star and Galaxy Projectors
Where Should You Place a Star and Galaxy Projector?
The best place to set and use a galaxy projector is in the center of your room. You should check the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure that you have enough space for it. Most require that you have at least five to six feet of clearance between the projector and the wall or ceiling, and some require even more space. If you do not have enough room, the images and displays will likely appear blurry or fuzzy. This occurs because there is not enough space for the full display.
Can You Use a Projector on Any Wall?
Though you can use a project on any wall, you should keep in mind that they work best when used on walls that are clear and light in color. Any busy patterns in the area can interfere with that display, including striped curtains or floral wallpaper. The best place to use star projectors is on white walls because they provide a clean background that lets the images really shine. If your walls are dark, you might find that you can’t see all the images and designs displayed. You can use a projection screen that you set up against one wall to take advantage of the projector.
Are Projectors for Kids and Adults the Same?
As there are so many different star projectors available, you may think that you can buy one that will work for both you and your children. The truth is that you need one designed for either adults or kids. Kids’ projectors are usually more stylized or whimsical in design. They might look like a spaceship or a space shuttle and use bright colors that can overwhelm your space. Those designed for adults include more realistic displays and features such as rechargeable batteries and built-in speakers. That speaker lets you listen to music from your phone as you fall asleep or play loud music when you host a party.
What are Some of the Benefits of Using a Star Projector?
The amount of sleep that you need can vary based on your body type and age. While kids may need 10 hours or more of sleep every night, adults may only need to six to eight hours. After a long vacation or a weekend of sleeping late though, you may have a hard time getting up and getting ready for work on your first day back. Star projectors are an easy way to help you get the sleep that you need.
Many people benefit from white noise, which refers to sounds in the background. This can include an AC or a fan that runs as you sleep or a stereo that plays softly at night. Star projectors that come with built-in speakers let you fall asleep faster and save on your energy bills. When the projector shuts off, it will also shut off the connected music player and keep it from using power.
Star and galaxy projectors also have some benefits for children. These simple devices serve as a night light for kids who are afraid of the dark. Your kids can get up and go to the bathroom or get a drink of water at night without turning on all of the lights in your home. Star projectors can also foster their creativity and get them interested in science. The right one will encourage them to come up with new stories about the planets and stars that they see. A projector may also get your child excited to learn about the planets and constellations.
How Can You Use a Projector?
There is no limit to how you can use a star and galaxy projector. Though you might think that you need one to fall asleep at night, it has much more benefits beyond that. You can turn star projectors into the centerpiece of a quiet party at home as you project constellations and other images on the ceiling. Your guests will like relaxing and watching those displays. Some projectors are also suitable for outdoor use. You can set one up and have it create the ultimate light display as your guests dance and mingle.
What Features Should You Look for When Buying One for a Kid?
The most important thing to consider when buying a kids’ projector is the materials used in the design. You want to make sure that there aren’t any toxic chemicals because kids have a tendency to chew on things or put things in their mouths. It’s also helpful to look for the best star projectors that can produce noises or sounds that can help kids fall asleep. Some models do not include built-in sounds but are compatible with music players. This lets you create a playlist with songs suitable for your child.