Star projectors are a quick and easy way to change a room's entire 'feel' and the Astronaut Starry Sky Star Projector is no different. We have reviewed a number of the models in our best star projectors buying guide, but this is the first novelty-shaped star projector we've had our hands on. How could we resist this on-brand astronaut wearing a space-walking suit?
We wanted to see if it performs as well as its more discreet counterparts, or if it is just a novelty item that lacks the functionality we have come to expect from a quality star projector.
Size: 120 x 113 x 228mm
Bulb Type: Class 1 Laser and LEDs
Sleep timer: Yes, 45 mins and 90 mins
Projection Surface: Not specified
One thing we did notice when shopping around for this product is that the prices between retailers seem to vary wildly. We've seen stores selling them for as much as $100, yet we've seen them as low as $10. Unless we were to purchase one from every store and touch and use them, we can't really see any noticeable differences between the advertised models, but we'd advise buying from a reputable seller to ensure you aren't getting a poor-quality replica. At the time of this review, Amazon is selling them (opens in new tab) for around the $35 mark.
Astronaut Starry Sky Star Projector review
Astronaut Starry Sky Star Projector: Design
- Novelty item suitable for a child's bedroom
- Nice matte finish
- A perfect gift for a young space lover
As you can see, the star projector in this model has been cleverly integrated into the body of a space-suit-wearing astronaut. The stand resembles the moon's surface with footprints, which is where the astronaut's feet slot into to keep the astronaut upright and stable.
Everyone who walked in on us reviewing this star projector has called 'him' cute. He's now known as 'the little guy,' and it's adults we're talking about here. It does have an endearing presence.
The power cable (USB-A to DC) plugs into the astronaut's backpack (in real life, this would be the Primary Life Support System), and this is also where the power button and two-mode buttons sit.
The lights and lasers shine from the astronaut's space helmet. The astronaut's head attaches to the body with a pretty strong magnet. We like that it can be connected in almost any position. The head can't be lifted off with one hand, and it stays attached when you turn it upside down, making it feel strong and sturdy. You can also pose the little arms vertically into the position you want.
Before reviewing this projector, we had expected it to feel cheap and toyish to the touch, with a poor-quality finish. While it is a novelty item, we were pleasantly surprised with the build quality, which is actually pretty good. Aside from the slightly plasticky feel to the buttons, it feels solid in the hand and has some weight, thus not like a cheap toy. It wouldn't be out of place in a teenager's bedroom as well as a younger child's room.
Astronaut Starry Sky Star Projector: Performance
- Very quiet operation
- Bright lights and lasers
- Customizable lighting
The star projector features what appears to be an almost identical lighting module to the BlissLights Sky Lite 2.0 and the Encalife Atmosphere Smart Galaxy Star Projector. Having reviewed many star projectors, it's clear that a large percentage of them use this same (or very similar) module, but vary how the module is packaged. In this case, it's presented as an astronaut and is operated via remote control.
The output (in terms of power and area coverage) is slightly less than some of the other models in our best star projector guide, but this is perhaps as it's likely going to be in a child's bedroom where the projection area isn't going to be huge.
We first reviewed the astronaut starry sky projector in the daytime with natural light coming in through the windows. As with the models mentioned above, the 'stars' or 'nebulae' aren't at all scientific like they are in the Sega Toys Homestar Flux or the National Geographic Astro Planetarium, but are very bright and other-worldly and can be customized into various configurations and speeds. The lights and laser dots are clearly visible, and the colors are rich and easily distinguishable. Obviously, the darker the environment, the more impressive the display.
Comparable with the BlissLights Sky Lite 2.0, the motor which rotates the lights is exceptionally quiet, you can only really hear it if you press your ear right up against it. This makes it perfect to use as a night light to drift off to sleep. One difference between this model and the Bliss Lights Sky Lite 2.0 is there is no option to rotate the lasers which shine from the top right of the astronaut's helmet, only the nebulae rotates. We don't think that's a deal breaker though.
Astronaut Starry Sky Projector: Functionality
- Remote control for easy operation
- Easily adjust the projection direction
- Sleep timer for use at night
Despite the novelty appeal of this astronaut, the design cleverly enhances functionality. The astronaut's head is attached by a magnet. While it doesn't easily come apart (which is a good thing), it can very easily be rotated to adjust the projection direction. You should be able to get the light projection at the angle you want regardless of where you place it.
The stand's simple design keeps the astronaut in place, and even when pushed to test for wobble, the device doesn't fall over. It would take some force for it to fall off a shelf or table.
The supplied remote control (which needs two AAA batteries, not included) can be used to operate the astronaut's features. You can adjust the brightness, turn the lasers on and off, and adjust the 'breathing' frequency of the lasers and nebula. You can switch the colors of the Nebula, change the speed of the Nebula's rotation and adjust the brightness of the lights. You can use the buttons on the device itself to operate some of the functions, but you'll need the remote to adjust the rotation speeds and to use the sleep timer, so don't lose it!
As with many of the other best star projectors we've reviewed, our astronaut features a sleep timer that can be set to 45 minutes or 90 minutes. There is a little indicator on the astronaut's backpack. When it's blue, the 45 minute timer is on; when it's red, the 90-minute timer is active. This works seamlessly.
Should I buy the Astronaut Starry Sky Star Projector?
The Astronaut Starry Sky Projector is a cost-effective way to add immediate ambiance to a room. Thanks to its novelty space-walking astronaut design, it would be the perfect gift for a young space fan. It's very easy to use, the lights are bright and customizable, the lasers will fill a small room, and the operation is quiet, all features that make for a good star projector.
While it might appear childish at first — because it's such nice quality — a teen would love it and so would any space-loving adult. It's certainly a conversation starter and would equally be at home in the background of a video gamer's room or a streamer/YouTuber etc.
As we mentioned at the start, the difference in price between retailers can be huge. Make sure you buy from a reputable company where returns are accepted, just in case you end up with a cheap copy of this good-quality item.
If the Astronaut Starry Sky Star Projector isn't for you
For similar functionality, but with app control, the BlissLights Sky Lite 2.0 is worth looking at. Of course, you don't get the 'cute' astronaut figurine, but it might be more appropriate for an adult. The lights and lasers are marginally more impressive too.
For scientific accuracy, you'll want to look at Sega Toys Homestar Flux or the National Geographic Astro Planetarium, though these will cost you more. The latter of the two features an in-built speaker and the star projections are true to the time and date you select, though it lacks the sophisticated appeal of the Homestar Flux.
For a basic laser pointer to fill your child's room with colored 'stars' or add some atmosphere to a games room or music room, BlissLights have the tiny BlissLights StarPort USB projector which would fit the bill, although we'd recommend it only for children of an age who know not to look directly into the Class 2 laser beam.
For a hands-on 'real life' star gazing experience, we have put guides together to show you the best telescopes for kids and the best binoculars for kids.