Combine and choose from multiple lighting colors. Has an auto-shutoff timer from 5 to 95 min. The unit rotates and can be used as a night-light. It also works via easy-to-use button controls.
Some users would have preferred it to be more durable.
This budget projector can shine light in different colors or white light. Rotates quietly and is small enough to fit on a bedside table. Works as a night-light if the dome cover is used.
There's no auto-shutoff option and the dome is poor quality.
Features an auto-shutoff timer and is small enough to fit on a bedside table. It projects stars and sea-themed shapes in blue and green and is lightweight enough for travel.
Some found the light too bright.
The star projector is compact and lightweight, which makes it easy to use around the house. 4 different color lights to choose from and the device shuts off automatically after 45 min.
Uses a touch sensor that can be overly sensitive, and it doesn't rotate.
The inexpensive projector features 8 bright lighting modes but can be used with its lid for a softer effect. Automatic shutoff. Can play music from an iPod or smartphone via its AUX input.
Some of the lighting effects are a bit harsh, so it's not appropriate as a night-light.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
The night sky is fascinating. It inspires a sense of wonder in everyone. Children are especially captivated by the cosmos and enjoy wishing on a star — in fact, many adults make wishes, too. If you and your child are ready to experience the night sky in a new and exciting way, it’s time to purchase a star projector.
Star projectors are indoor devices that deliver an exciting array of constellations on the ceiling and walls. Simply turn off the room lights and turn on the device to experience the projection as it traverses the room. If your device shows realistic constellations, you and your child will feel like you’re looking at the night sky. As fascinating as the show is, a star projector can also help create a sleep-friendly ambience in a child’s room. Many parents use a projector to make bedtime a welcoming, easy experience for everyone.
If you’re ready to make a wish on a star in your very own galaxy, we’ve assembled a comprehensive buying guide for you. Take a look at our recommendations to choose your star projector and get ready to enjoy the night sky in the comfort of your own home.
Children’s bedtime: Star projectors are ideal for children of all ages. Babies can be lulled to sleep with the rhythmic rotation of the projection. Toddlers and preschoolers can enjoy a bedtime story followed by a timed star projection for a structured bedtime routine. Younger children who might be afraid of the dark can be comforted by the show that gently illuminates the entire room instead of having a small night-light in a corner.
Education: Educators can benefit from bringing a star projector to their classrooms. It’s an ideal educational device for lessons on astronomy, mythology, space, and even children’s literature. There are some models that project real constellations, so students can learn to identify them in the night sky.
Sleep aid: Some people who struggle with insomnia can benefit from using a star projector. Many sleep therapy programs recommend a systematic and structured bedtime routine to prepare the body. Set up your star projector to give your room a nighttime feel to encourage your mind to settle down and unwind. For a multifaceted approach to your sleep environment, you can add sound therapy, aromatherapy, and high-quality bedding.
Cute and comforting
Enjoy the night sky in your bedroom with this fully rotating star projector. The unique dome design has a high-definition projection lit up by quality LED bulbs. It’s easy to program the time, colors, and settings, too. Simply remove the projection template to enjoy the lamp mode in warm white, red, blue, green, or rainbow. Because this star projector is compact enough to fit in your luggage, you won’t have to spend a night without it.
Star projectors are easy to set up and operate, and some children can set theirs unassisted. Once powered, choose the projection and timer settings to start the show. You have the choice of various colors as well as timers, and in some models you can even program your favorite settings.
Most star projectors are powered through an AC adapter, though many can also run off batteries. These models are ideal if you want to use the projector during a power outage or if you’re traveling and don’t want to bring an AC adapter. Most models that use batteries take at least four AAA batteries, and if you use the projector every night, you’ll burn through them quickly. Some projectors can be powered via a USB plug connected to a device such as your computer, though, like batteries, prolonged use by this method will drain the computer’s battery pretty quickly.
Some star projectors feature real constellations, making one a great addition to a science classroom. It can also spark a discussion about the stars, the universe, or phases of the moon.
Star projectors are mostly made of plastic with internal electronic and mechanical components. The base is almost always plastic, and the projection area is either a hard plastic dome or a thin plastic film that rotates. Light is generally emitted through LED bulbs, which last an impressively long time.
There are also a few variations in star projectors in terms of materials and construction. Some models have a soft, plush stuffed animal for the base with the projection dome on top. These are usually battery powered. Other projectors incorporate other designs, such as wood-grained plastic. This provides a more aesthetically pleasing look to the device and elevates it from a child’s electronic to a sophisticated decorative accessory.
Projection colors typically include blue, green, yellow, and red. In some models, the colors change from one to another; in others, you can only project one color at a time. There are also some devices with multicolor projections. Premium star projectors have settings for soft lights that are dim enough to lull you to sleep.
Some star projectors come with a remote. The remote lets you change the settings from across the room, though the range is fairly limited, so don’t expect it to work from another room or in a very large space. The remotes are also somewhat limited in terms of settings for the projector. Some settings, such as running the projector for a longer time, you’ll have to program on the device itself.
There are few star projectors that include sound capabilities. In some models, there are settings for natural sounds, such as waves, wind, and rain. Others feature music, in which simple songs or classical music tracks play while the projection is in motion. Whether it’s natural sounds or music, these models have programmable timers to shut the sound off when the projection ends.
Light up a nighttime party with the help of a star projector. It’s an inexpensive way to decorate the whole room and give the party a fun, unique atmosphere.
Star projectors cost between $15 and $35.
Inexpensive: At the low end of the range, between $15 and $20, you can expect to find lightweight, basic models that have few settings, perhaps including sounds.
Mid-range: Star projectors priced between $20 and $25 have a more extensive collection of timer and color settings and better construction. They’re also more aesthetically pleasing.
Expensive: At the high end of the price range, between $25 and $35, are star projectors that can be powered in multiple ways, with advanced color, rotation, and timer settings. Many come with a remote control.
You might need to invest in a power strip if you have a star projector and multiple other electronics in the room, such as a computer, alarm clock, sound machine, and humidifier.
Sweet dreams, baby
This projector is made for a baby’s bedroom, though anyone could certainly use it and be delighted by its twinkling, colorful lights. If you need some soft lighting and don’t necessarily want a nightlight, this is a great budget choice that little ones love.
We like the friendly look of the Cloud b Twilight Turtle Night-Light Soother. The base is a plush turtle available in three colors, so children can bring this model anywhere for playtime or naptime. It projects real star constellations, so it’s easy to incorporate this star projector into an astronomy lesson. Equipped with a 45-minute timer, it shuts off completely to darkness once it’s done. You can set the projection color to blue, green, or amber, or set it to rotate through all the colors. If you want a device with more settings, the Foreita Night-Lights Rotating Projector is ideal. The sleek, observatory-inspired design has a remote control with settings for time, color, and rotation. You can also make advanced timer settings on the device itself. There are eight multicolor modes to enjoy, as well as a warm light setting that calms and soothes. This star projector comes with a cover to keep the dome free of dust when it isn’t in use.
Q. Can I use my star projector with the lights on?
A. For the full starry-night experience, it’s recommended to have all the lights off in the room. Other sources of light could cause the projection to blur or fade, making it difficult to see. If you have a light dimmer, the lowest setting might allow you to see the projection. A night-light in a darkened room won’t affect the projection as long as most of the room, especially the ceiling, is dark.
Q. Can I travel with my star projector?
A. It’s a relatively bulky device, so if anything, you should place it in your checked luggage. There are some smaller models, but even these might take up a lot of space in a carry-on. You’ll also want to refer to current TSA regulations regarding the device. If you’re traveling internationally, you’ll need to pack enough batteries or invest in a compatible power adapter.
Q. Where should I position my star projector in the room?
A. Place your star projector on a flat, stable surface. A dresser or bookcase is ideal. One thing to look out for is other objects obstructing the projection, such as a lamp or vase. For a clear, unobstructed viewing experience, you can place the projector on a small stool in the middle of the room.
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