Best star projectors 2024: Bring the cosmos indoors

We've looked at the best star projectors and home planetariums that money can buy, with options ranging from the scientific to the... not so scientific. You'll see what we mean.

The models that tend to be more affordable are those that give you an immersive experience, to give the feel of being somewhere other-worldly, and the colors and patterns are loosely 'inspired' by space — nebulas, auroras and galaxies. You've likely seen them at parties, in game rooms, in spas and so on.

Then there are scientific home planetariums that generally project 'real imagery,' so you can study and enjoy projections of real galaxies and nebulas from the comfort of your own home without investing in expensive astronomy equipment. These are much more likened to the more traditional planetariums that teach astronomy and related sciences.

We've scoured the market for the best star projectors and home planetariums, and we've noticed that over time, there's a growing competition of manufacturers bringing out newer versions with additional functionality and better quality and packaging. We'll keep revising this list with new models as we come across and test them. For now, here are the best ones currently available on the market.

If you're looking to purchase a gift for a child, you might want to take a look at the best science kits for kids if a star projector wouldn't quite hit the nail on the head. There are also guides to the best chemistry sets and the best coding toys too.

Quick list

Best star projectors we recommend in 2024

Why you can trust Live Science Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best ones for you. Find out more about how we test.

Best overall

Best overall: The Orzorz Galaxy Lite is a stunning, scientifically accurate star projector that's light years ahead the competition.

Specifications

Size: 160 x 120 x 120mm
Bulb type: LED
Laser: None
Control: On-body
Rotation: Yes
Sleep timer: Yes
Speaker: No
Projection surface: 13 ft / 4m

Reasons to buy

+
Large expandable collection
+
High-quality imagery
+
Looks stylish
+
Rechargeable

Reasons to avoid

-
Tiny disks
-
A touch noisier than some models
Buy it if

✅ You want something rechargeable: No need for batteries, this model is rechargeable with a USB-C to USB-A cable (which is provided).

✅ You want high-quality imagery on a budget: This star projector easily rivals the Sega Homestar Flux for a fraction of the cost.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You don't want to buy extra disks: It comes with a generous five disks, but you do have to buy extra if you want to expand your collection.

❌ You want to sleep with it on: We found it a touch noisier than other models.

The bottom line

🔎 Orzorz Galaxy Lite Home Planetarium Star Projector: It has everything we love about the Homestar Flux but without the expensive price tag. It's sleek, the images are vivid, it's simple to operate and it has a vast library of add-on disks. ★★★★★

We were really impressed with the Orzorz Galaxy Lite when we reviewed it recently. It easily rivals the Sega Homestar Flux in terms of image quality and functionality and comes at a fraction of the cost.

The colors produced by this projector are undoubtedly impressive — they are vivid and bright, and the images are incredibly sharp once focused. You can even enjoy the projections in the daytime; there's no need to be in total darkness. 

The projector ships with five disks — Pillars of Creation, NGC 2359 (Thor's Helmet), the Moon, the Milky Way and the Earth and Moon (on one disk), but there's a whole catalog of others to choose from to purchase separately. The disks also fit the Pococo Home Planetarium and vice versa, making the library of images to extend your collection even greater. We did think the tiny disks could be a little fiddly for those with larger hands, though.

There is one rotation speed which is slow and soothing — there's a little bit of noise from the motor but nothing that would be distracting, and better than many models we've tested.

We've chosen to put this projector at the top of this list as it offers the same (or even better) functionality as the Sega Toys Homestar Flux but at a much lower cost.

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AttributesNotes
DesignSleek, contemporary look.
PerformanceEasily rivals the Sega Homestar Flux — high quality, realistic imagery.
FunctionalityRechargeable.

Best premium model

Best premium model: Undoubtedly an excellent Home Planetarium, but cheaper alternatives are available.

Specifications

Size: 160 x 160 x 150mm
Bulb type: LED
Laser: None
Control: On-body
Rotation: Yes
Sleep timer: Yes
Speaker: No
Projection surface: Max 8.9ft / 2.7 m

Reasons to buy

+
Illuminated controls
+
Additional disks available
+
Runs very quiet
+
Scientifically accurate

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Rival cheaper alternatives 
-
Low stock
Buy it if

✅ You want a quiet model: In an otherwise silent room, you can only hear the faintest whir of the motor.

✅ You want scientific accuracy: All the disks and projections are scientifically accurate.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You're on a budget: This is one of the more expensive models, and it's rarely on offer.

❌ You just want a pretty light: If you just want a nice light to create atmosphere, there are more suitable options in this list.

The bottom line

🔎 Sega Toys Homestar Flux: Unlike many 'star-projectors, ' this model leaves the gimmicks at the door and focuses entirely on creating an accurate projection of over 60,000 stars. ★★★★

There isn't a 'top X star projector list' you'll come across without finding the Sega Toys Homestar Flux taking a podium position. Unlike many 'star projectors,' this model's main focus (no pun intended) is to project a realistic-looking, high-quality image of extraterrestrial subjects onto your wall or ceiling, often using real photos from various observation stations around the world. 

It ships with two disks as standard, but with over 30 compatible disks available as additional add-ons, there's a greater level of exploration to be had than with other star projectors and home planetariums.

It has a sleek and mature design with a high-quality satin black finish, which we appreciated during our Sega Toys Homestar Flux review. It also comes in an attractive and robust box which would be a delight to give or receive as a gift, and one that can be saved and used as storage rather than heading straight for the recycling bin.

The 5-watt LED projects pin-sharp images across the whole projection, from edge to edge. The operation is quiet, and there are three sleep timers for automatic shut-off. There's no remote, app control or built-in speaker, but these aren't functions you'll need if all you're doing is selecting your desired disk and switching the projector on to gaze at the stars.

There is a shooting star function, but this leaves a little to be desired, and we think it's an unnecessary add-on.

Update July 2023. Stock levels are extremely low, so you might have to wait a while to get your hands on one. If you can't find one, we'd strongly recommend the Orzors Star Projector as an alternative.

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AttributesNotes
DesignMatte black finish.
PerformanceImpressive, scientifically accurate projections.
FunctionalityMore than 30 compatible disks available.

Best cheap star projector

Best cheap option: Excellent value for money, impressive tech and three means of control make this one of the best non-scientific star-projectors

Specifications

Size: 120 x 120 x 135 mm
Bulb type: LED
Laser: Class 2
Control: App, voice and single button
Rotation: Yes
Sleep timer: Yes
Speaker: No
Projection surface: Laser — 30 x 30 ft, Nebula cloud — 15 x 15ft

Reasons to buy

+
App, voice & button control
+
Color blending
+
Good value for money

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy button on the cable
-
Mains power only
Buy it if

✅ You're on a budget: This model is incredibly budget-friendly.

✅ You want voice control: You can control it with your Alexa or Google device.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You don't want to use an app: The accompanying app is needed in order to use all its functions.

❌ You want scientific accuracy: There's no scientific accuracy to this star projector.

The bottom line

🔎 BlissLights Evolve Star Projector: This is a discrete and refined star projector, a definite upgrade to the previous Bliss Lights Sky Lite designs. The white body and small form factor complement a range of home decor. The app control is sleek and the Alexa/Google voice control is an added bonus. ★★★★

Here we have the newest version of BlissLights 'galaxy lights,' the Evolve, available with green, blue or no lasers. Unusually, it has voice control (Google Assistant /Amazon Alexa), single button control and app control. As we found out in our BlissLights Evolve Star Projector Review, the app is responsive and effective.

The spherical projector isn't fixed to the supplied base so gives maximum positioning flexibility. Point it at walls, ceilings and even the floor if you have high shelving, and you won't have a problem angling the Class 2 laser away from vulnerable eyes.

It displays an immeasurable amount of color combinations from a bright 5-watt bulb. The colors are vivid and immersive, and the BlissLights Evolve uses unique color blending technology to allow for pastel-style colors rather than highly contrasting color patterns. You can spend hours gazing up at the soothing changing patterns and experimenting with color combinations and brightness in the app. Turn on the laser 'stars' to further transform your space (up to 30x30 feet!) into an otherworldly sensory experience. 

Though clearly not a scientific star projector, it would transform your gaming room, party atmosphere or sleeping environment. As the motor is very quiet — near silent, in fact, the motor noise won't be a distraction, allowing you to focus on the immersive and impressive light patterns. 

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AttributesNotes
DesignSmall and discreet.
PerformanceNo scientific accuracy, just a pretty night.
FunctionalityApp and voice controlled.

Best for kids

National Geographic Astro Planetarium

Best for kids: A multi-media home planetarium that's most suited to a younger audience.

Specifications

Size: 160 x 160 x 190mm
Bulb type: LED
Laser: None
Control: On-body
Rotation: Yes
Sleep timer: Yes
Speaker: No
Projection surface: Max 8.9ft / 2.7 m

Reasons to buy

+
Time & Date selector
+
Five year warranty
+
In-built speaker & radio

Reasons to avoid

-
Not a Bluetooth speaker
-
Lacks premium finish
Buy it if

✅ You want accuracy: It's accurate to the time and date you're using it.

✅ You want an in-built speaker: It can be used as a speaker or radio, but there's no BlueTooth.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want it to blend in: It has a somewhat garish appearance, so doesn't exactly blend into your interiors.

❌ You want something quiet: We found it to be on the noisy side, especially at full speed.

The bottom line

🔎 National Geographic Astro Planetarium: Not quite as sophisticated as its Sega rival, but it's suited to a younger audience. Still, it's a good learning tool and is impressive nonetheless. ★★★★½

The National Geographic Astro Planetarium appeals to a younger audience. Primarily due to the garish yellow accented buttons and detail on the device.

The images aren't as impressive as something premium like the Homestar Flux — if super vivid imagery is what you expect — but the price point is much lower. The images aren't as bright as its Sega rival, but if you're using it to sleep with then this could be an advantage. You can power it with either a user-supplied 5V DC power cable or three AA batteries which are included.

It comes with two disks, one with the constellations labeled and one without, plus there are other additional disks available to purchase separately for other celestial bodies. 

It has the functionality of an inbuilt speaker (requiring a 3.5mm audio cable — included) and a built-in radio. We wouldn't rely on using this as a radio though; you're better off plugging in a phone or smart device to play your chosen audio instead. The sound quality is surprisingly good, something that would be perfectly acceptable in a child's bedroom or for listening to in your kitchen — although it is on the noisy side, especially when it's running at full speed.

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AttributesNotes
DesignLooks a bit toyish.
PerformanceBright, easy to focus projections.
Functionality3 x AA batteries required.

Best rechargeable star projector

Best rechargeable: Another projector to rival the big names with a huge library of additional disks available to purchase

Specifications

Size: 157 x 120 x 120mm
Bulb type: LED
Laser: None
Control: On-body
Rotation: Yes
Sleep timer: Yes
Speaker: No
Projection surface: 12m²

Reasons to buy

+
Rechargeable 
+
Vivid imagery
+
Plenty of add-on disks

Reasons to avoid

-
Awful marketing language
-
On button controls not illuminated
Buy it if

✅ You're on a budget: This star projector is quite affordable for what it is.

✅ You want excellent quality projections: We were very impressed with the quality of the images from the disks.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want to avoid unreputable brands: The marketing around this product is bizarre, plus they make false claims that are just greenwashing.

❌ You want a remote: It doesn't have one.

The bottom line

🔎 Pococo Galaxy Star Projector: An affordable alternative to the more expensive star projectors like the Sega Toys Homestar Flux. It offers the same functionality and image quality (if not better), and it is also rechargeable, which gives you more flexibility in terms of where you can point the projections. ★★★★

The Pococo Galaxy Projector is ultimately the same technology as the Orzorz Galaxy Lite mentioned above but in a different body. Scroll up to the top of the list to read all of the functionality, it's all the same and even uses the same shape disks; it's just the shape and color of this model that makes it different. Still, we were very impressed with the images in our Pococo Galaxy star projector review.

The Pococo's design is simple and stylish, with a pink and blue ombre paint job. Like the Orzors, the packaging and presentation are nice, so it would be good to give as a gift.

So, if it's exactly the same, why is it further down in this guide? A few reasons — one is we think the Orzors has a more 'grown up' design and would complement more decor — therefore, more of a 'safe bet' if you're purchasing it for someone else. 

The other reason is the strange marketing around the product, which seems to target ladies' insecurities (check it out for yourself if you don't believe us) — which we obviously disagree with. They seem to have tidied it up a bit since, but there's still some wording in there about how it can help love your body somehow. It also claims to be an 'eco-friendly' star projector, which simply isn't true. While this seems trivial, it's important to call out greenwashing. 

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AttributesNotes
DesignAttractive design with four available colors.
PerformanceImpressive images.
FunctionalityBasically the same as the Orzorz Galaxy Lite.

Best novelty star projector

Best novelty star projector: A conversation-starting star projector, geared towards children but still excellent quality

Specifications

Size: 120 x 113 x 228mm
Bulb type: LED
Laser: Class 1
Control: On-body and remote
Rotation: Yes
Sleep timer: Yes
Speaker: No
Projection surface: Not specified

Reasons to buy

+
Novelty design
+
Good build quality
+
Plenty of color combinations

Reasons to avoid

-
DC power port (USB would be preferred)
-
Basic packaging
Buy it if

✅ You're on a tight budget: This star projector tends to sit at around the $20 mark.

✅ You're buying a gift for a child: It's an affordable gift that children will love.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want scientific accuracy: This is about as far away from scientific accuracy as you can get.

❌ You want a long cable: We noted that the cable is quite short, so you may need an extension lead if you don't have any plugs near your chosen surface.

The bottom line

🔎 Astronaut Starry Sky Projector: A great quality star projector for any space lover. The novelty astronaut design is a conversation starter, and the projections are bright and vivid. The sleep timer makes it an ideal choice for a child's bedroom. ★★★★

This is a great quality star projector for any space fan. We were dubious how good this star projector would be, as historically, novelty-shaped star projectors are pretty disappointing. We're pleased to say that during our Astronaut Starry Sky Projector review, this 'cute' projector meets space-themed ornament surpassed our expectations.

The lights and laser are projected out of the astronaut's space helmet, and the buttons are on their backpack, but you can also use the handy remote control so you don't have to leave your seat to alter the color, speed and brightness settings.

There's also a 45-minute or 90-minute sleep timer (that you can also set using the remote), which we found ideal for a child's nursery, as you don't need to go in and risk disturbing the child to turn it off.

This projector would be most suited to a child's bedroom, just be mindful that the lasers aren't pointing directly in anyone's line of sight — pretty easy to accomplish given the positioning flexibility the magnetic space helmet allows.

It comes with a DC port, which is a little annoying and would be much better with a USB port. We also noticed that the cable is fairly short, so you may end up needing an extension lead if you don't have any plugs close to your chosen surface. 

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AttributesNotes
DesignNovelty astronaut design.
PerformanceAdjustable brightness, but has the dreaded green lasers.
FunctionalityHas a sleep timer with two settings.

Best educational star projector

A hands-on educational star projector, planetarium and night light for young astronomers

Specifications

Size: 130 x 250 x 320mm
Bulb type: 2 x LED
Laser: None
Control: On-body
Rotation: Yes
Sleep timer: No
Speaker: No
Projection surface: Projector 1m, stars not specified

Reasons to buy

+
Great for home-learning
+
Highly portable 
+
Clear imagery

Reasons to avoid

-
Requires 3 x AA batteries
-
Educational supplements would be helpful
Buy it if

✅ You want something portable: The advantage of it being battery-powered is that it's more portable than mains-powered projectors.

✅ You're on a budget: It's a great STEM toy for kids that won't break the bank.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You don't want to use batteries: It runs on 3 x AA batteries, which aren't included.

❌ You want educational information: It doesn't come with any kind of leaflets or information (online only).

The bottom line

🔎 Brainstorm Toys Deep Space Home Planetarium: Overall a good, interactive STEM toy for space-enthusiastic kids aged between six and ten. It offers good value for money for a multi-functional product that kids will love. ★★★½

Here we have one of the most reasonably priced star projectors available. Think of it as an educational STEM toy for young budding astronomers rather than anything too sophisticated.

Its body resembles a well-known sci-fi character (R2D2); we're sure this wasn't an accident. A pill-shaped device pivots vertically on a stand to expose either the planetarium end, which is ultimately a light with a plastic cover over the top allowing small 'stars' to be outwardly projected or a slide projector with a focusing ring. Using another of the supplied light covers, the star projector can also be used as a simple blue-colored night light, something we liked in our Brainstorm Toys Deep Space Home Planetarium review.

Three disks are supplied — one has spacecraft images, one has astronauts, and the other features eight images of nebulas and planets taken by the NASA Hubble Telescope. This is the most educational function and users are provided with a 'secret code' to unlock online learning material. 

This is an excellent purchase for homeschooling or to simply spend some time with your child learning about the wonders of space.

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AttributesNotes
DesignLooks like R2-D2.
PerformanceStar and constellation projection could be more refined.
FunctionalityGives users a hands on experience.

Best bookshelf star projector

BlissLights Sky Lite 2.0

Best for the bookshelf: Create cool party lighting with this easy to use, app controlled projector

Specifications

Size: 235 x 207 x 76mm
Bulb type: 5 watt LED
Laser: Yes
Control: App or on-body
Rotation: Yes
Sleep timer: Yes (via app)
Speaker: No
Projection surface: Laser - 30 x 30 ft, Nebula cloud - 15 x 15ft

Reasons to buy

+
App control
+
Bright & vivid colors and lasers
+
Powered by USB

Reasons to avoid

-
Has been superseded
-
Cheaper similar alternatives
Buy it if

✅ You want app control: You can control it remotely via the app — but it connects over Bluetooth, not Wi-Fi.

✅ You don't want anything big: It's slim enough to sit on your bookshelf out of sight, and nicely blends into your interiors.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want accuracy: This is little more than a pretty light, so don't expect to get anything educational out of it.

❌ You're on a budget: While it's not horrendously expensive, many retailers have created their own replica of this at a much lower price.

The bottom line

🔎 BlissLights Sky Lite 2.0: It's a fun little way of seeing the colors of the night sky without needing too much space. It's friendly on the wallet, easy to use and produces pleasing projections, just don't expect any kind of accuracy. ★★★½

Bliss Lights SkyLite 2.0, although superseded by the Evolve as mentioned above, is still an excellent star projector that features most of the same functionality, just not Google or Alexa voice control. It looks different because it is 'wheel-shaped' rather than spherical, but it slots nicely onto a bookshelf without taking up much space.

The colors of the lights and lasers are vivid, and the dedicated app still affords you many customization options in terms of color mix, speed, timing modes, brightness and so on. One thing that might put buyers off is the green laser 'stars', which many have said to be quite tacky looking and not particularly realistic. Still, it produces vivid colors and certainly isn't lacking when it comes to creating a relaxing atmosphere.

Be mindful that the app is connected to the device via Bluetooth — not Wi-Fi — so you have to be pretty near it to make any changes to the settings. If you're looking to control it remotely from a different room (e.g if it's in a child's bedroom and you don't want to disturb them), you'd probably want to consider something that is connected by Wi-Fi. Although, there is a sleep timer, so setting it up to turn off after a certain time is one way around this potential issue.

The operation of the motor is nearly silent, so it would be a perfect sleeping aid if that is what you're looking for a star projector to help with.

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AttributesNotes
DesignLight and compact.
PerformanceVivid color and lasers, near silent operation.
FunctionalityApp control via Bluetooth.

Best audio from a star projector

Encalife Ambience Galaxy & Star Projector

Best audio: A good projector/speaker combo that displays vivid nebula-inspired patterns over a large projection area

Specifications

Size: 168.9 x 167.89 x 134.87mm
Bulb type: LED
Laser: Yes
Control: On-body and remote
Rotation: Yes
Sleep timer: Yes
Speaker: Yes
Projection surface: 160 - 540ft

Reasons to buy

+
Surprisingly good quality Bluetooth speaker
+
Faceted dome
+
USB

Reasons to avoid

-
Dull packaging
-
Lacks premium feel
-
Remote needed for all functionality
Buy it if

✅ You want to play music: It won't win any awards, but the sound is surprisingly good for a Bluetooth speaker.

✅ You want quiet operation: It runs quietly, so it won't disturb you if you're trying to sleep with it on.

Don't buy it if:

❌ It's not on offer: Encalife products seem to fluctuate in price quite drastically, so wait until it's on offer before purchasing.

❌ You want app or voice control: All its functionality is controlled from the remote, and there's no kind of app or voice control.

The bottom line

🔎 Encalife Ambience Galaxy & Star Projector: A convenient combination of a star projector and Bluetooth speaker, it'll enhance the ambiance and atmosphere in any room and would be a great addition to a party. ★★★½

The Encalfe Ambience Galaxy & Star Projector is a combination star-projector meets Bluetooth speaker, perfect for a child's bedroom. Be aware of the lackluster packaging and slightly disappointing build quality, but the device itself performs surprisingly well, which, we suppose is the main thing.

The Ambience Galaxy & Star Projector resembles a UFO shape and has a faceted dome to help disperse the LED over 180 degrees. After reviewing lots of star projectors, this is quite a unique design that makes it stand out from a lot of other models.

The lights are bright and vivid, and there is a fair amount of customization, but you'll need to use the supplied remote to access some of the functions (rather than being able to access them using the buttons on the device, or through an app or voice control). 

Other star projectors on this list, namely the Bliss Lights models, offer more color combinations, but there's more than enough here to entertain yourself and your children.

There is a USB port for plugging in a flash drive to play music from, although admittedly, these are somewhat outdated now, so this probably won't see much use. That said, we can see why this function would be useful if you were to pre-load an mp3 playlist (e.g. sleep sounds), an audiobook or similar to a flash drive.

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AttributesNotes
DesignUnique design with faceted dome.
PerformanceNot as customizable as others, but the speaker is surprisingly good.
FunctionalityOnly works via the remote control.

Best for dinosaur fans

Best for dinosaur fans: Four-in-one functionality in this eye-catching hatching egg projector

Specifications

Size: 170 x 150 x 140 mm
Bulb type: LED
Laser: Yes (Class 1 or 2 — not specified)
Control: Button or remote control
Rotation: Yes
Sleep timer: Yes
Speaker: Yes
Projection surface: 20-80 square meters

Reasons to buy

+
Giving as a gift
+
Multifunctional
+
Reasonably priced

Reasons to avoid

-
Difficult to control in the dark
-
No laser warning label
Buy it if

✅ You're buying an inexpensive gift: If the person you're buying for happens to love space and dinosaurs, then you're in luck here.

✅ Your child wants a night light: It's perfect for a child's bedroom, and it has a sleep timer with an automatic shut-off.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want accuracy: This is neither astronomically nor paleontologically accurate.

❌ You want something that blends in: This star projector doesn't exactly have the most minimalistic design.

The bottom line

🔎 Dinosaur Egg Galaxy Star Projector: A reasonably priced multi-functional projector — a nightlight, projector, Bluetooth speaker and white noise sound system all in one. ★★★½

Here's one for space fans and paleontology enthusiasts alike. The second novelty-shaped projector in this guide and it's surprisingly capable in terms of functionality, and during our Dinosaur Egg Galaxy Star Projector review, our children loved it!

When in one piece (with the 'lid' on the egg), you have a fun night light, emitting an ambient-colored light through the cracks of the hatching egg. Remove the lid and you have a star projector that can display wavy patterns in a multitude of colors in your choice, as well as a Class 1 or 2 laser (this isn't specified) which can be turned on or off independently.

Not only this but there's also an in-built Bluetooth speaker. As with most 'cheap' Bluetooth speakers, the sound quality won't win any awards as it lacks bass and sounds a little tinny, but for background music or for reading aloud an audiobook, it does the job just fine.

On top of the Bluetooth speaker, there is also built-in 'white noise' functionality,  presumably to be used as a sleeping aid first and foremost. There's a catalog of 19 different sounds from a cow moo-ing and a dog barking, to more sleep-appropriate 'watery noises,' piano tunes and 'standard' white noise.

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AttributesNotes
DesignLooks like a dinosaur egg.
PerformanceNot the best sound quality.
FunctionalitySleep timer with automatic shut off.

How we test the best star projectors

When we see a star projector we like the look of, that has plenty of functionality and sits at a reasonable price point, we get hold of one for ourselves so we can put it through its paces and give it an honest hands-on review.

For the more scientific models, we check out how easy it is to change the slides/disks, the quality of the image and whether it is sharp from edge to edge. We consider the size of the projection and identify who or where the projector would be best suited for. Are expansion packs available, and if so, are they reasonably priced?

In the non-scientific, ambiance-creating models we like to see how the lights and lasers are controlled — on-body, remote control or via app. The level of customization control we have — can we change the color combinations, can the laser and lights be operated independently, the speed of the rotation and so on. We listen for how quiet the motor is when in operation — no one wants to create a soothing environment only to be distracted by a motor whirring around in the background.

Most star projectors will have a sleep timer — we look for how many options for the sleep timer duration you have and whether it is effective and reliable.

For both types of star projectors, we discuss the portability and positioning choices, whether they are rechargeable, and whether there is any additional functionality such as an in-built Bluetooth speaker or an alarm clock. Is there a slick app to control the device or is the remote control sufficient?

As with all products we test, we take special note of the build quality of each star projector, as well as the quality of the packaging, which can be important if you are giving a star projector as a gift.

Best star projectors FAQs

What is the most scientifically accurate star projector?

Star projectors are not created equal, with each one offering different functions. Generally, the more scientifically accurate ones tend to be the more expensive ones, with the star projectors at the more affordable end of the spectrum tend to focus on being a pretty light.

In this list, the most scientifically accurate models are the Orzorz Galaxy Lite, Sega Homestar Flux, National Geographic Astro Planetarium and the Pococo Galaxy Star Projector. The scientific models use disks to project real views of the night sky, rather than colorful projections from the cheaper models. 

Which star projector is best?

Overall, we think the Orzorz Galaxy Lite is light years ahead of the competition, and it's affordably priced. It's a fantastic, scientifically accurate device and we wouldn't hesistate to recommend it, however, if you're just looking for a nice light to add a bit of atmosphere to your room, go for a model from BlissLights.

What ages are star projectors for?

All ages! They are great as nightlights to help babies and children drift off to sleep or learn about the night sky, and adults can use them to add atmosphere to a room — some models even double as a speaker.

Where should I put my star projector?

Try not to put them too close to the wall or ceiling you're projecting them onto — a side table or bookshelf will be fine for most. Keep in mind that many of them are mains or USB powered, so they'll need to be close to an outlet. Also be careful not to place them in a spot where the light will shine into anyones eyes.

Contributing Writer

Tantse Walter is a photographer and adventurer that's spent seven years facilitating global adventurous expeditions. She loves getting into the nitty-gritty of sourcing and planning trips. Whether that be for astrophotography location scouting, or just for the love of exploration. Tantse enjoys taking creative, bright and bold photos of people, places, animals and the night sky.