The best star projectors come in all shapes and sizes. From products aimed at babies and toddlers to feature-rich portable planetariums designed as much as educational devices as aesthetic items, planetarium projectors can satisfy the young and old alike. These projectors splash an image of the solar system all over your ceiling and walls, turning any room into a microcosm of the universe. They’ll encourage a love of astronomy in particular, and science generally.
But whether you’re looking to delight a young child or educate an adult, there’s no denying that a star projector can be one of the most enchanting and hypnotic lighting solutions for any room in the house. While there are differences in the kind of star projector you’ll be looking for depending on the ultimate recipient of the product, there’s something for everyone in the market today.
Star Night Light for Kids by Elmchee
BlissLights Sky Lite
In My Room Star Theater Pro Home Planetarium
Read on below to find our reviews for the top five best star projectors available on the market in 2019. Keep reading for the features we’ve considered in coming to our recommendations, and the features you should be on the lookout for when you’re making a purchase decision. Finally, we’ll narrow our recommendations to one or two products you simply must have if you’re in the market for one of these hypnotic little products. (And if you’re looking for something similar, check out these solar system books for kids.)
- 0.1 1. AnanBros Star Night Light Projector for Kids
- 0.2 2. BlissLights Sky Lite
- 0.3 3. Laser Stars Twilight Projector by Gifts A Must
- 0.4 4. Star Night Light for Kids by Elmchee
- 0.5 5. In My Room Star Theater Pro Home Planetarium
- 1 Features to look for in the best Star Projectors
- 2 Top Three Benefits of a Star Light Projector
- 3 Can Star Projectors Run for the Entire Night?
- 4 Star Projectors vs Cosmos Projectors
- 5 Conclusion
1. AnanBros Star Night Light Projector for Kids
The AnanBros Star Night Light Projector for Kids delivers exactly what it promises. Less an accurate planetarium projector than a fun night light, this star projector delivers sharp and bright stars and moons to any child’s bedroom walls and ceiling. The projector draws power from a wall outlet or, failing that, AAA batteries (not included).
Perfect for a young toddler, this star projector plays twelve different soothing lullabies as it projects stars and moons onto surrounding surfaces. It can be remote-controlled using the included controller. It can also be controlled by a timer. The star projector rotates as it runs, making the stars and moons dance across your child’s walls. It does this absolutely silently, so the motion won’t waken even the lightest sleeper.
Of course, what you gain in child-friendliness, you lose in accuracy and educational value. This device should certainly not be mistaken for an educational toy or an accurate representation of any kind of solar system, let alone our own. It’s just a collection of pretty lights and soothing songs. To be honest though, we couldn’t care less. It does what it sets out to do very well. Over 1000 Amazon customers have rated this night light at an average of 4.5 stars. What more proof do you need?
- Remote Control
- Not educational
2. BlissLights Sky Lite
If the previous product is a perfect night light for toddlers, the BlissLights Sky Lite is the adult version of that. Projecting a starry sky against a cloudy nebula backdrop onto the nearest wall or ceiling, this star projector delivers an excellent way of lighting a game or dining room in a unique and relaxing way.
There is a built-in four-hour timer and a multitude of lighting and color settings to ensure that you won’t get bored of the intensely cool display created by this star projector. It’s powered by a 120V AC adapter and comes with an included three-foot cord.
At the end of the day, what the BlissLights Sky Lite is good at doing is transforming the most mundane space into a work of art. Whether its an office, a dining room, a home theatre, or a den, no space will look the same with this projector’s enchanting nebulas and bright stars splashed all over its walls and ceiling.
While it is slightly more expensive than some other products, we’ve rated it as our Best Value because of the expansive feature set you get for that price.
- Amazing Value
- Enchanting display
- A purely aesthetic product. No educational value.
3. Laser Stars Twilight Projector by Gifts A Must
This star projector is a higher-end version of the number two product on this list. It comes with two projectors. The first is a blue laser projector that displays a nebula-like cloud on the walls or ceiling. The second projector displays sharp and bright green stars against the cloud backdrop.
Both projectors include replaceable laser modules, greatly extending the life of this product. In a similar vein, and further enhancing the reliability of the product, the Laser Stars Twilight Projector comes complete with a 100% money-back guarantee and warranty. Gifts A Must stand behind their products and are confident you won’t need to make use of either the guarantee or the warranty.
The stars rotate slowly when the projection is engaged, but the product is surprisingly quiet and didn’t disturb even the lightest sleeper involved in our tests. Unfortunately, when used in a bedroom, this product (as well as the others on this list) were prone to interfering with some of our testers’ ability to get to sleep due to the inherent brightness of the lasers.
- Twice the projectors mean twice the opportunity for something to break
4. Star Night Light for Kids by Elmchee
An unbelievable deal at under $17, the Star Night Light for Kids is, in some ways, very similar to the first item on our list. It’s designed to project a stylized image of stars and moons onto the ceiling and walls of a child’s room. This star projector is built quite differently though. It uses strips of transparent film, rather than holes in a plastic covering, to create the images it projects onto the surrounding walls. As a result, this star projector is actually capable of projecting three different scenes: a birthday scene, and two different astronomically-themed scenes.
Three AA batteries, or a USB connection, will power this little device. It can rotate and has several different lighting effects and colors to choose from. Between the three different scenes, multiple lighting effects, and the rotation option, it is unlikely that you’ll get bored of all of the available settings and modes for this star projector. Have we mentioned that it sells for less than $17?
- Incredibly low price
- Multiple different modes and settings
- The film is fragile and easy to tear.
5. In My Room Star Theater Pro Home Planetarium
This star projector is a high-end, but less versatile, version of the star projectors found in this list. At just under $110.00, you’ll be spending significantly more than you would with any of the other products on the list. But for that price, you get a star projector that’s reliable, durable, bright, and beautiful. The projector itself is a small sphere, with a Death-Star-Minus-The-Dimple vibe. It rotates and can be programmed to turn on or off after thirty to sixty minutes.
The main draw of this particular star projector is the second kind of image it can project. Swap out the included disc and you can project an image of the Earth, Sun, and Moon onto your wall and ceiling. These are stunning images of our most well-known celestial bodies and you won’t get tired of having them up on your wall for a long time.
- Durable construction
- Very cool Earth/Sun/Moon image option
- Comparatively expensive
Features to look for in the best Star Projectors
When you’re choosing the best planetarium projectors for you, keep the following features in mind:
You’ll want your star projector to display an image that is sharp, crisp, clear, bright, and interesting to look at. Some of the products listed above display a number of different images, while others can change the lighting effect or rotate. You’ll want to keep in mind the type of image you’re looking for, and the likelihood that you’ll get bored of looking at the same old image time after time. Additional settings or images can come in very handy to extend the useful life of these star projectors.
Star projectors involve a lot of electronic and non-electronic components. Films, lasers, lenses, and casings must all work together to develop a pleasing image. You’ll want to keep the manufacturer and price in mind when you’re getting a star projector. The last thing you want is to shell out your hard-earned dollar only to find that the item you’ve received will last for only a week or two. All of the products on our list should meet minimum product quality requirements, but the more expensive star projectors can reasonably be expected to last significantly longer than the others. (Keep in mind that you can make your own solar system model or buy a solar system model instead if you wish.)
Noise and Brightness
These factors are only important if you place your star projector in the room you sleep in. As many of the listed products rotate, and all of them spit out a bright image, you’ll want to carefully consider whether you’ll be able to sleep with the system on. All of the above star projectors that rotate did so silently (at least in our test environments), but you’ll want to make sure they remain free of dust and other debris to keep them running smoothly and quietly.
There’s not much that can be done about the brightness, however. After all, the entire point of these star projectors is to, well, project stars. That necessarily involves displaying a bright image. The only way you can know if that interferes with your sleep is to give one a try and see how it goes. Of course, if you’re not planning to put these projectors in your bedroom, you likely don’t need to concern yourself with excess brightness.
Some of these products are obviously targetted at children. Others are clearly targetted at adults. Which kind you gravitate towards will necessarily depend on your target audience. Make sure that you consider who the ultimate recipient of these star projectors will be. If a child will be the one making the most use of this item, it would be wise to choose one of the child-friendly options included in the list (similar to these solar system puzzles).
Top Three Benefits of a Star Light Projector
Nothing relaxes the mind like a soothing, slowly rotating, and beautiful projection of the night sky. In a time when we’re all frequently assailed by stressful and constant work and media, a calming image of the Milky Way, a nebula, or a simple star and moon pattern can be just what you need at the end of a long day. The relaxation effects won’t only be enjoyed by adults either. Nothing calms a hyperactive child at the end of the day like one of these star projectors aimed at the ceiling and walls of their bedroom.
There’s only so much room in a house. After decorating their homes with furniture, electronics, and art, many people forget the importance of good lighting in their decor. Enter the star projector. These beautiful pieces can accentuate decor and bring a room together in a charming fashion. Rather than simply throw a lamp or an extra lightbulb into a living room, why not include a star projector to add ambiance during a late evening over drinks?
Nothing starts a conversation like a star projector. They are not yet common enough in the American home for people to be used to them, so seeing one almost inevitably sparks a conversation. Whether it’s about astronomy, decoration, or even lighting, turning one of the listed items on in a room where you’re gathering with friends is guaranteed to keep the conversation going.
Can Star Projectors Run for the Entire Night?
Yes! Because all of the products listed above run off of wall outlets, USB connections, or batteries, they will all last the entire night. Several nights in fact. The only exception might be if you’ve been using battery power and haven’t replaced them in some time. The power could fail during the night. Consequences are minimal though, as these are not mission-critical machines. Just replace the batteries the next morning and you’re good to go!
Of course, if you choose, you can program most of these star projectors to turn off after a set amount of time to save power and extend the useful life of your projector.
Star Projectors vs Cosmos Projectors
Some people ask about the differences between star projectors vs cosmos projectors. The truth is that there’s so much overlap there is really very little difference. A star projector is what it sounds like. It projects stars. Cosmos projectors can project other features of the night sky (planetary bodies, nebulas, etc.) But in the real world, most of these kinds of star/cosmos projectors utilize images from both of these categories and are combinations of the two.
Rather than obsess over whether you’re getting a star projector or a cosmos projector, you’ll want to carefully consider the kinds of images you’re looking to see, the features you can afford, and the reliability of the unit itself. If you remain focused on the features we’ve listed in the article above, your satisfaction will be guaranteed. And that holds true for star projectors and cosmos projectors, as this article from the Winnipeg Free Press demonstrates.
The best star projector night light is a matter of opinion and target market. If you’re looking for something for your child you’ll want something different than the person who’s looking for something to light up her basement bar. As long as you pick something from this list though, you’ll likely be satisfied with your choice. For those of you looking for an excellent and versatile option for the youngster in your life, we wholeheartedly endorse the Star Night Light for Kids by Elmchee. If you’re looking for something a little more adult, try the BlissLights Sky Lite. You won’t be disappointed. (And if you’re looking to build your own solar system projector, click that link!)