Who among us doesn’t remember long, peaceful nights gazing up at the stars? Perhaps that’s part of the kid in you that never really went away. Sure, there’s plenty of expensive telescopes and other sky-gazing paraphernalia to choose from. Chances are, you probably own some yourself. But what about your child?
Star projectors have become more and more popular over the past few years as an entertainment choice for toddlers, infants and even older children. But they don’t just entertain. They bring peace. Contentment.
Relaxation. And most of all, they help pass on your love of the night sky to your children.
There’s a broad range of projectors to choose from. Some are portable and others are stationary.
Some have progressive highlights and graphics and some simply illuminate. There are hundreds to choose from, and all have their respective qualities and drawbacks. We’ve tried to narrow it down to the top four currently available on the market and also provide a brief buying guide to make sure you know what to look for when buying star projectors.
SOAIY Soothing Aurora LED Night Light Projector
The graphics are adjustable to be both still and rotating, and can act as a night light with its attached dome cover on, or a galaxy projector when its off.
There’s a built in auto off timer at intervals of one, two or four hours, but you could easily leave it on all night.
A nice, affordable choice and a perfect automatic relaxer.
Sega Homestar Original Black – Home Planetarium – Star Projector Review
Don’t worry that it might be too advanced for your toddler; while it definitely has a scope (of some 60,000 stars, with remote control-powered shooting capabilities) that can and will be appreciated by adults, even your youngest will find themselves peacefully entranced by the shifting dimmer-switch controlled lights.
Kid’s Light Projector with 5-995 Minutes Timer Review
There’s a time setting and auto shut off feature, and functions as both a rotating pattern night light and a star projector when removing the outer shell.
Definitely an understated and handsome piece for your child’s room.
Colorful Constellation Star Sky Kids Night Projector Lamp Review
There’s an LED timer with auto shut-off, a 360 degree rotating pattern that is basic and uncomplicated, and doubles as both a night light and a star projector.
A basic lamp your baby will get many weeks use out of.
A Buyer’s Guide to Star Projectors
Star projectors come in two forms; home planetariums which, while they can be enjoyed by young children, are better enjoyed by adults; and projector lamps, which are designed to both amuse young children as well as relax them. Home planetariums can be upsetting to infants, however; so you may want to hold off on buying one if you’re planning to use it for both of your amusement.
Lighting modes that star projectors offer depend on your preferences. If you’re trying to help your child sleep, slower and steadier images are going to be more useful than wildly exploding stars and patterns. Most projectors offer variable speeds, but keep in mind that the faster the speed, the more agitated your child may become.
There are a few that offer old fashioned standard incandescent light bulbs, but these are not recommended. The lighting is too insignificant to make an impact; and since most models come with various dimmer switches, damage to young eyes are a thing of the past if you use LED lights.
Many models currently offer the choice of programmable musical accompaniment, either via an mp3 player, a radio, a CD (yes, they still make those) but for the sake of clarity, that doesn’t mean the images will synch up automatically. Still, that’s always an option, especially if you’re trying to help your child sleep.
In conclusion, we know that there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to put a kid to bed. But sometimes both of you need entertainment, as well. And if it’s too far away for the night sky… there can always be the comfort of home with a star projector.