- Best Planetarium Projector for Home
- 1) Sega Homestar Original Black – Home Planetarium – Star Projector
- 2) Sega Homestar Flux – Planetarium Projector for Home
- 3) Smithsonian Optics Room Planetarium and Dual Projector Science Kit
- 4) Uncle Milton 3D Star Theater
- 5) Nashika Real Home Planetarium
- 6) Parrot Uncle Star Hologram Projector – Planetarium Projector for Home
- 7) Bresser Junior Astro Planetarium Deluxe
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Best Planetarium Projector for Home
No matter whether you’re 13, 33 or 63, the beautiful stars in the night sky still fascinate us. If you’re lucky enough to have a planetarium near you, you can easily go over to enjoy the wonders of the night sky and learn about outer space.
But what if you don’t live near to one or you just wish you could bring the planetarium to the convenience of your own home?
A planetarium projector for home allows you to have the night sky in the comfort of your own room.
You will never have to worry about bad weather such as rain, clouds or fog preventing you from viewing the beauty of the starry night sky.
Whether you want to help your kids love astronomy, you’ve always had the wonder of outer space within you, or you just want to sleep under the stars every night, this article will show the 7 best planetarium projectors available today.
1) Sega Homestar Original Black – Home Planetarium – Star Projector
The Sega Homestar Original Black Home Planetarium projects an incredibly clear sky with over 60,000 stars onto your ceiling or wall. Yes, this Sega is in the same group of companies that makes Sega video games.
This home planetarium was designed by the Japanese inventor Takayuki Ohira, who worked on the Megastar II Cosmos which is the world’s most advanced planetarium.
The projection is astronomically accurate and very realistic.
There’s even a rotation and “shooting star” function that you can use. The rotation movement in the projection is extremely close to how stars orbit and the rotary motor is quiet without making too much noise. However, there are no captions to the constellations.
An automatic timer mode is available that allows you to start a 15 minute, 30 minute or 60-minute countdown before the projector shuts down.
This is great when you want to fall asleep under the stars and not leave the projection on for the entire night.
Two discs are included and you have over 30 discs available to purchase as optional add-ons. The sleek design of the projector itself makes it a great addition to your room as well.
The only cons of this projector is that the projection does not look good in small rooms and the “shooting star” function does not show very realistic shooting stars.
If you’re adjusting the focus, it might take a while to get it right or you might end up with a blurry image.
The minimum projection area required is a circle with 106” in diameter and a distance of 59”-90”. The projector itself can project a very large area.
This makes it a great planetarium projector for home or for bringing into a classroom. The projector itself is 6.5” x 6.3” x 5.9” and weighs 1.76lbs.
2) Sega Homestar Flux – Planetarium Projector for Home
The Sega Homestar Flux is the latest model from Sega which is more powerful and advanced than the Sega Homestar Pro. As with the Homestar Pro, it can project over 60,000 stars in high definition clarity.
It features 5-watt LED technology and has advanced multilevel glass lenses for excellent projection. 2 discs are included with another 30 discs that you can opt to buy.
It displays the constellations with incredible accuracy and detail although the constellations are not labeled.
The individual stars move and change in size as in real life. The projection also rotates, allowing you to observe the movement of stars as if you were camping in the country and sitting under the night sky.
While this model also has a “shooting star” function, it still doesn’t impress.
As with the Homestar Pro, the Homestar Flux also has a timer function that you can set to switch off the Flux automatically after you’ve drifted off to sleep under the calming and beautiful effect of the night sky.
The design of the Flux is much sleeker and the packaging is upgraded and improved so you can give it as a gift! There is a USB cable for the Flux enabling you to plug it into a power adapter or into a power bank.
You can use the Homestar Flux to project onto both high and low ceilings with a projection distance that can range from 4’7” to 8’10”.
There have been some complaints that the focus ring is not easy to use and hence some people get blurry images and some noise when the projector rotates.
It’s also expensive given the quality of the product. While the Homestar Flux isn’t perfect, it’s certainly much better than the competition and you get what you pay for.
The product is 9.1” x 7.8” x 7.6” and weighs 3.53lbs.
3) Smithsonian Optics Room Planetarium and Dual Projector Science Kit
The Smithsonian kit features over 24 high-definition space images which include a star pattern and the Solar System. It comes with 4 slides that you can combine to create more than 50 different image combinations tat feature planets, nebulae, moons, asteroids and other celestial bodies.
This planetarium projector for home is excellent for kids and is suited for kids aged 8 and up. It has a 360 degree motorized rotation and has a timer available for 15 minutes and 30 minutes.
This makes the projector great as a night light for kids and it will automatically switch off once your kid goes to sleep.
There aren’t any constellations in the star pattern so the stars might look generic, and the projection is not very bright.
Some people have also commented that the LED light is blue and that the projector is plastic which makes it feel cheaply made. Nevertheless, this is a great projector for your kids who love space and planets.
The projector is 10” x 7” x 10” and weighs 1.92lbs.
4) Uncle Milton 3D Star Theater
The Uncle Milton 3D Star Theatre is one of the cheaper options on this list, but you do get what you pay for.
While it does not have the variety of images that the other planetarium projectors do, the planetarium is 3D which can bring outer space to life. This makes the 3D Star Theatre great for kids.
There are a few different star maps with constellations and some deep space images. The images include stars, planets and constellations and is great for learning about astronomy.
This is a slide projector and the projection size is relatively small. 3D glasses are provided with the projector, however, only one set of glasses is provided.
That being said, you can still see the stars even without 3D glasses. You can rotate and pivot the 3D Star Theatre in the direction you would like to project.
The projector is powered by batteries which can be quite a pain, because you may have to frequently change the batteries.
The image quality isn’t too great either, but the Uncle Milton 3D Star Theatre is still an affordable option for your kids and to get them interested in astronomy and space.
There’s even a poster that comes with the 3D Star Theatre to add to the learning experience.
The product is 5.5” x 5.7” x 5.5” and weighs 1lb.
5) Nashika Real Home Planetarium
The Nashika Real Home Planetarium is made by the Japanese company Nashika. True to the standards of Japanese manufacturing, this projector produces extremely high resolution images of the starry sky of the Northern Hemisphere.
It can project over 9,000 stars with illustrations of the constellations, and 31 Milky Ways. There are 3 discs that come with the projector.
The cool feature about this projector is that you can project the night sky as of a certain date or time. For example, you could set your birthday and time of birth and the projector would show you all the constellations in the sky at the time. It can also show you the real-time image of the stars when you’re looking at it.
The only issue is that all of the instructions that come with the projector are in Japanese, which could pose issues with setting the projector up.
However, once you figure it out, the Nashika works extremely well to bring outer space into your room. This planetarium projector for home can also be plugged into a power adapter or powered with batteries.
There is an educational DVD that comes with the projector, but that is in Japanese. The constellation display has names included but this is also in Japanese.
If you can read Japanese, that’s great but for the majority of us, that may be an issue.
According to the manufacturer, the projection’s circular range is between 60 and 300cm and the projection distance is between 50 and 250cm.
This product is 10.4” x 9.6” x 7.8” and weighs 3.22lbs.
6) Parrot Uncle Star Hologram Projector – Planetarium Projector for Home
The Parrot Uncle Star Hologram Projector allows you to create thousands of stars with green laser and holographic technology.
The stars will be green as they are essentially laser pinpricks created by two precision glass lenses. The star pattern is not meant to be accurate or realistic at all.
You can also turn on the blue nebulous feature which shows a drifting nebulous cloud that adds a touch of beauty and wonder to the whole projection.
The brightness of the blue nebulous cloud can be adjusted to the level you want. The Parrot Uncle Star Hologram Projector is great as a night light or to set the mood for parties and gatherings.
Additionally, it is an eye-catching piece with its silver star shape.
It is extremely easy to set up as you simply need to plug it in, and there are keyhole slots in the base that allow you to mount the projector on a wall if you choose to. You can adjust the projection area without the image becoming blurry.
The manufacturers advise leaving the projector on for a maximum of 2 hours at a time to allow the laser to last longer, and there is a two hour automatic timer built into the projector for your convenience.
The laser does fade after a lot of use, but the new 2018 version allows you to replace the green lasers by purchasing replacement modules. Some people have also complained that the projector can be noisy and does not last very long, depending on how often and how long you switch it on.
This product is 9.4” x 10.9” x 12.3” and weighs 3.5lbs.
7) Bresser Junior Astro Planetarium Deluxe
The Bresser Junior AstroPlanetarium projects up to 8,000 stars with a shooting star function stored over 2 discs. You can display constellations beside the normal star patterns. It has a timer which allows you to automatically shut down the projector after 30, 60 or 120 minutes. It’s not the best quality planetarium projector for home on this list, but certainly provides good value for money.
It has a rotation function and an accurate date/time setting so you can project the view of the sky at a particular date and time that you choose.
The projector runs on batteries which can be great if you want to bring the projector around or if you don’t want more wires running round the room, but it can be inconvenient to be replacing batteries all the time. You can pivot and adjust the projector as it is shaped like a ball that’s placed in a dish.
The projection size can go up to 1.6m x 2.1m with a projection distance of 2m. The maximum projection distance possible is 3m. As the manufacturer of the Bresser Junior AstroPlanetarium is based in Europe, it has to be imported if you’re based elsewhere and this can mean longer shipping times and poorer customer support.
The product is 7.9” x 7.9” x 7.9” and weighs 2.2lbs.
a) How can I ensure the best use of my home planetarium projector?
Firstly, you need to be clear about why you want a home planetarium projector.
Some people want one because they are fascinated with outer space and the galaxy, and want to bring a piece of it into their home. The accuracy of the star pattern and constellations would be a priority, and they might go for something high end such as the Sega Homestar Flux.
The feature of being able to view the night sky at a selected date or time may appeal to these people as well so the Nashika Real Home Planetarium or the Bresser Junior AstroPlanetarium might be suitable.
If you simply want the soothing effect of sleeping under the night sky, the Sega Homestar Original, Nashika Real Home Planetarium or the Bresser Junior AstroPlanetarium would make excellent choices
The Parrot Uncle Star Hologram Projector with its green laser makes for a good party atmosphere, or just to create a relaxing effect in your room. It is certainly an upgrade from glow-in-the-dark stars and is more affordable than the other planetarium projectors on the list.
If you want to engage your kids to take an interest in astronomy, certainly the Uncle Milton 3D Star Theatre or Smithsonian Optics Room Planetarium is an affordable choice. Nevertheless, you can always go for a more premium option that both adults and children can join for a family experience.
b) What should I consider when choosing a planetarium projector?
Always consider where you intend to have the projection and the size you want, and ensure the projector has the capability to support it. For example, the Smithsonian Optics Room Planetarium does not support a large projection area so that’s certainly something to consider if you’ve always dreamed of having the night sky cover your entire ceiling.
Some planetarium projectors also have a much wider variety of images available compared to others. If you think you’ll get easily bored seeing the same images all the time, do consider projectors that give you many image combinations or at least have multiple discs you can purchase to change it up a little.
Do consider the practical aspects as well, such as whether a timer feature is important to you or the fact that the projector has to be battery-powered versus being able to plug the projector into a power adaptor.
Some projectors are also brighter than others. If you have a dim projector, you’ll have to ensure your room is extremely dark before you can see the projection. Otherwise, the atmosphere that you want to create in your room would be lost. Thus, you need to consider how dark your room would be even after switching off the lights and closing the windows so you can choose a projector that is bright enough.
Certainly, price is also a consideration and you should know the budget you want to set aside for a home planetarium. Some people think it’s totally worth the $100+ for the magical feeling of sleeping under the stars every night, while some people might find it boring and stale after a while!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q- How much does a planetarium projector for home cost?
A- For high quality, the cost can go up to around $200. At the other extreme, the cheaper options can be $20-$40. That’s why it’s important to know your budget and your intention behind getting a home planetarium projector.
Q- Is it hard to set up a planetarium projector?
A- No technical knowledge is required. You may need some time in the beginning to set up the projector, ensure you have the right projection distance and area and focus the projection. Some of the projections make this easier than others.
Once you have set it up and focused the image, you’re good to go! The high quality planetarium projectors can also last very long with a few people reporting their projectors going even after 4-5 years.
On the other hand, with the lower end planetarium projectors there have been people who received products that only lasted months or even just days.
Q- Can the home planetariums project moving stars?
A- Yes! Most of the planetariums on this list have a rotation option which will show the stars moving as if the Earth was really in movement. This truly makes you feel the wonder of looking at a starry sky. There are only a few exceptions like the Uncle Milton 3D Star Theatre and Parrot Uncle Star Holographic Projector.
Q- What’s the difference between a home planetarium and a star projector?
They are different in terms of their intended objectives. Star projectors are largely for entertainment use and are not focused on being true to the actual star pattern in the night sky. They may use lasers of different colors to project the star pattern.
On the other hand, home planetariums are focused on accurately displaying the constellations and their positions in the sky. They may also show the galaxies, other planets and asteroids.
The pricing is also certainly different, with star projectors coming in at a lower price compared to home planetariums. A lot more expertise and knowledge goes into the home planetariums.
This is the list of 7 best home planetarium projector for the home that is available for purchase. Hopefully, this article has been helpful for you to understand the pros and cons of each home planetarium and the considerations you need to make for your purchase.
If you have the budget for it, the Sega Homestar Flux is certainly the best that is available in the market. It projects over 60,000 stars in an extremely realistic fashion that really makes you feel that you’ve brought the natural beauty of the starry night sky into the comfort of your home. It’s also durable and extremely high quality, able to be powered by either a power adaptor or power bank and makes a great addition to your room.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Uncle Milton 3D Star Theatre and the Smithsonian Optics Room Planetarium are cheaper options that are great for kids, although the quality of these home planetariums is behind that of the others on the list.