Best Star Projectors and Home Planetariums

Mankind has always had a fascination with the night sky. This could be an instinct that has perhaps survived from an age when ancient humans used to sleep in open areas with nothing more than the twinkling stars as blankets.

From prehistoric to modern times, sleeping under a dark sky full of shining lights is something that most people innately love doing.

Solar system projectors and professional planetarium projectors are devices that allow you to recreate that same feeling of tranquility when sleeping outside under the heavens – but within the comfort of your house. Before you drift off into the warm and comforting embrace of sleep, allow the last fleeting thoughts that enter your mind to be of fiery blue comets racing through the sky, mysterious uncharted planets, and shooting stars carried on the winds of good fortune. 

Star Projector and Home Planetarium Reviews

A star projector and home planetarium are electronic devices that use a system of LED bulbs and projector technology to cast a wide pattern across a room which mimics a view of the night sky; complete with twinkling stars and a brightly-lit Moon. They function as both a night-light for children or simply to set the mood during parties, events, and other special occasions. For the most part, both terms are interchangeable.

To start you off on the right path to choosing the best home planetarium or best star projector, we’ve tested out various products and provided our top 5 recommendations that we know you’ll love.

5. Multi-Color Star Projector with Timer and Rotator

This device is a multi-functional rotating star projector complete with a night-light function and timer. Star projectors are great for use at birthdays, festivals, parties, or any other occasions.

This particular model projects a complete starry sky onto the walls and ceiling using a variety of primary colors – white, red, blue, and green. Rotation is achieved using a built-in noiseless motor and the device can be powered by either plugging into a wall outlet or using 4 alkaline batteries.

The Multi-Color Star Projector can also be used as a night-light for children. Remove the outer dome to convert it into a star projector. By removing the inner dome, the images are no longer projected outwards but instead, the device emits a soft, glowing light.

A timer is built-into the device which can automatically shut off the night-light after a specified amount of time. The minimum time period is 5 minutes, maximum is 995 minutes.

The device is very easy to use, having only four buttons on the front and a manual to guide you. A lanyard is included with the purchase which can be used to hang the projector anywhere in the house.

This is handy for use when camping, in treehouses, on a doorknob, or at the table in the backyard. It has a very affordable price which is what makes this star projector a deal breaker.

VERDICT: As far as star projectors go, the Multi-Colored Star Projector by Hontry provides good, solid features for an affordable price. It’s made of high-quality materials and is sure to provide lots of enjoyment.

4. Galaxy Clock Home Planetarium

The Galaxy Clock Home Planetarium by MomKnows works to project a soothing array of stars all over the walls and ceiling. As a star projector, it can cycle between several colors or stay fixed on a single color. It’s perfect for children or adults that need a calming and mesmerizing visual aid in the room.

A unique feature of this device is the 7 preset sounds that can be played from its built-in speaker. These sounds mimic different environments and have such options as Birds, Brooks, Rainforest, Waves in Beach, Brooks & Birds, and Rain. A special Womb Simulator feature also provides a sound that has been scientifically proven to help young children and infants fall asleep.

This device has several more interesting features that make it a real steal. Since it has a speaker, you can connect your smartphone, tablet, computer or other line-in devices in order to play whatever music you want.

The audio is high-quality and a small knob is located on the face of the device which allows you to control the volume. It also has an auto shut-off function which you can set to either 30 minutes, 60 minutes or non-stop. Using a built-in temperature monitor, you can check ambient air temperature with just one button push.

If all those features weren’t enough to make you appreciate this all-in-one home planetarium, consider the last feature which is present in its name – a clock! The Galaxy Clock’s face is located right on the front and is easy to configure.

The projector functions are easily workable and an instruction manual is included in the package. The device can be powered by using an included cable or inserting 3AA batteries.

VERDICT: The sheer number of features chucked into one device is enough to make this home planetarium worth its price. This product is one-of-a-kind and is highly recommended for anyone looking for a good multi-functional star projector.

3. Starry Night Rotating Light Home Planetarium

The Starry Night Home Planetarium by MOCREO is a good mid-level projector that is able to cast excellent-quality rotating images. The stars can change to multiple colors – red, white, green, and blue. Star colors can either be a single color or a combination of colors.

The device has a removable translucent rosette cover which can be attached to convert it into a night lamp. Remove the cover and it turns back into a planetarium.

The charging options are pretty flexible with this product. Instead of a regular plug, it uses a USB charge port and cable which can be charged using a computer, power bank or even 4 AAA batteries.

The USB charging cable is extra-long with about 6.5 feet / 2 meters of cord. This gives the device greater flexibility in terms of where it can be placed.

All in all, this device isn’t very flashy and doesn’t have a lot of features. Instead, it’s an affordable, small, well-designed home planetarium that focuses on one thing and does it well.

The projected stars are soothing and the area covered is wide. It can be used to entertain children or calm them down during hospital visits and ultrasound exams which are usually conducted in relatively dark rooms.

VERDICT: MOCREO’s Starry Night Home Planetarium provides great value at a lower price. If you need a device that only projects stars and aren’t interested in any other side features, this is the one to go for.

2. Le Petit Prince Touch Activated Round Projector

This round star projector manufactured by French company Lumitusi gives off a good vibe and brightens up any room that it’s placed in. You can choose between 4 different LED color options for the star pattern projections – Blue, Orange, Green, and an “auto” mode which changes the color from one to the next.

The device is activated and controlled using a touch sensor on the front. It’s powered by 3AA batteries which are estimated to provide 60+ nights of sleep time based on a 45-minute-per-night usage rate.

It was designed with children in mind as the outer cover is sleek and easy to clean and constructed using high impact plastic to ensure maximum protection in case of any drops. The battery compartment is screwed in to disallow unauthorized access. The outer cover also sports a unique French design, based off of “The Little Prince”, a classic children’s book written by Antoine de Saint Exupéry.

The Le Petit Prince projector is easy to use and is only about 4.9 x 3.2 x 4.9 inches, so it doesn’t waste a lot of space in the room. The LED lights are soft and won’t hurt a child’s eyes. A built-in auto shut-off timer will allow you to leave it running for a certain amount of time without having to back in the room to turn it off.

VERDICT: If you’re willing to put up with a few design nuances, this star projector is a good choice for its price. The touch button can sometimes be more of a nuisance than a help, but if it’s too annoying, you can put some stickers around the edges to help you locate it easier when in the dark.

1. Galaxy StarBee Projection Light

The last item on our list is the Galaxy Starbee Projection Light. This cute little yellow and black bee by Galactic Beetlestar is able to transform any dark room into a brightly-lit galaxy complete with twinkling stars and celestial objects.

Although the bee itself only has two colors, the lights that project outwards may be changed to orange, blue, green, or an alternating color mode.

The device uses a touch switch to control the functions and has a built-in timer used to shut off the lamp after 45 minutes. It’s made of high-impact plastic to avoid damage in the event of an accidental drop. The lights are powered by 3 AA batteries which will give you about 60+ nights worth of enjoyment per set of batteries.

Besides functioning as a great star projector, the StarBee can also work as a night-light companion. The color transitions are soft and aren’t an eyesore.

The design of the StarBee is made especially for children and besides the black and yellow combination, other colors are also available such as Red/Black, Blue/White, and Pink/White. The surface is easily cleaned and is more hygienic than using a projection light with fabric.

VERDICT: Your children are sure to love the Galaxy StarBee Projection Light. It’s easy to operate and the included batteries last a long time. The design is for kids, though, so if you need a star projector for a party or other event, it’s best to take a look at other options.

Star Projector / Home Planetarium Buyer’s Guide

As there are literally hundreds of star projectors and home planetariums being sold online, it can sometimes be difficult to get the right one. It can be confusing to see prices range from very expensive to very cheap and you want to make sure that you don’t pay for an overpriced item or one that’s prone to malfunction.

To make things easier for you, here’s a list of 5 tips that can help you choose the right one.

  1. Price ranges may either be low, mid or high. Items in the low-price range often are cheaper because they’re made of substandard materials. Items in the high-price range are there because they usually have some extra features and are under well-known brand names.

Mid-priced items on the other hand, could be products that are on sale or older models. If you do some careful research, you’ll see that the mid-priced items are actually very close in price to the high-priced items, so it might be worthwhile to just get a high-priced star projector.

  1. The great thing about items like home planetariums and star projectors is that there’s a demand for them and it’s easy to find reviews and ratings online for specific products. When in doubt, check what other people are saying about a product before you buy it! You just might find a piece of information that will make or break your decision.
  2. Quality is very important when it comes to star projectors and home planetariums. In the majority of cases, these products are made for children and thus, must be safe for them to handle. There are a lot of small electronic parts being put to use internally, so safety and quality should be one of your highest priorities if you’re buying one of these items for your kid.
  3. Take a look at the features that an item has. Features are important because they allow you to maximize the experience that you have with a home planetarium or star projector. Balance the features of a product against the cost and see if it suits your needs.

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Author Bio

Jason Cook

Jason Cook

As a planetary astronomer, I was working on the New Horizon project at Southwest Research Institute until mid 2016. Currently, I share my astronomical knowledge on this blog and I'm heavily into urban farming too.

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