Kids projectors: The top 3 that will help your children sleep

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Are kids projectors important?

Projectors for kids are perhaps one of the most underrated parenting necessities. Quite frankly they’re also excellent for adults – I would use one if it were socially acceptable. 

What I mean by “kids projectors” are those devices that shoot a series of rotating patterns onto a wall in a continual cycle. Of course, there are hundreds to choose from in terms of colour, pattern and speed of rotation. 

Top kids projectors pick: Ocean wave ($)

As our top pick, the Ocean Wave comes with a multitude of features that justify its mid range price point. Not only does the projector come with different colour and angle settings, but it also has an inbuilt mini speaker. This plays both preset sounds and can also be connected to your mobile or laptop. This ensures the device is able to play your children’s favourite songs that help them unwind and relax. 

What we liked: 

  • Multiple colour options 
  • Silent light display 
  • Inbuilt speaker 

What we didn’t like:

  • No bluetooth option 
  • Light projector 

Mid range kids projectors choice: Star light rotating projector ($)

Our mid range pick was the Star light rotating projector. This projector comes in a variety of colour combinations – including solely red. It was the only projector available using a completely red light, making it great for inducing sleep in children. The projector comes with a multitude of features that easily support its compact frame, including galaxy themed projection and a on/off timer.

What we liked: 

  • Compact size
  • Colour combinations
  • Timer

What we didn’t like:

  • No mains plug
  • Colour distortion in big rooms 
  • No speaker 

Budget kids projectors pick: SOAIY sleep soother aurora projector ($)

Our budget pick was the SOAIY sleep soother – a great choice for kids and adults alike. The projector is aimed at replicating a nebula on your wall or ceiling. With a cover to dim the light when it’s time for sleeping, this projector was really made with children in mind. The light, although moving, is no distinguishable (or distracting) shape that comes in a variety of colours. The SOAIY also comes with the ability to play music through an aux cord, so you can play the best music that helps your child sleep.

What we liked:

  • Inbuilt speaker
  • Optional dimming cover 
  • Soothing colours

What we didn’t like:

  • Not too many colour options
  • Small rotating noise 

The importance of sleep for children

Getting a good night’s sleep is important for us all, but especially children. Sleep allows us to:

  • Repair our cells
  • Improves our performance athletically 
  • Helps us concentrate 
  • Regulates our weight 

It is especially important for children, whose cells are constantly changing and development. Not only is it vital for your children’s development, but also for your sanity as a parent. Undisturbed nights allow us to have “adult time”, unwind and help us relax.

The better your child sleeps through the night, the more sleep you’ll get and the more likely your relationship with your significant other is to flourish. 

As a result, any method to help your children sleep through the night is vital for both parents and children alike. 

Benefits of kids projectors

There are a series of benefits that come with the use of projectors for children at night, such as:

  • The bedtime environment and sleep associations 
  • Checking on children
  • Helping with fear of the dark 

The bedtime environment and sleep associations 

There have been numerous studies for adults and children alike surrounding bedtime environment, routine and sleep associations. Before we go to bed, we might stop using our phone, take a bath, do some reading, or meditate – whatever it is we do, the end result is the same:

Creating associations between sleeping and a specific routine. 

The same is applicable to children. However, as simple as it sounds getting a three year old to meditate, perhaps a night light is slightly easier. By using a night projector you’re doing 2 things:

  • Creating associations with bedtime
  • Creating a “comfort” for your child

Just like we associate setting an alarm with waking up, by using specific triggers, it can make it easier to put your child to sleep. Similarly to a soft toy or specific blanket, a night projector can create a sense of security for your children. 

Checking on your kids

We’ve all been there: It’s dark, you put a light on to check on your child and “it” happens. Your child wakes up, undoing your hours of preparation. 

A night projector is a simple solution to this. You’re able to check on your child without putting any lights on and without fear of undoing your hard work. Of course, I can’t guarantee you won’t wake them with the noise of the door, but you win some and you lose some. 

Escaping fear of the dark 

Kids are scared of the dark – it’s a fact we have to live with. When I was growing up, my parents bought those little glow in the dark stars to combat this. However, with technological advancement comes a new solution: a night projector. 

When your child feels they have control over a situation, they’re less likely to fear it. This can be done by leaving the door slightly ajar, having a small light on, or using a night projector. 

Using a night projector not only allows your child to be in control of the situation, but the calming lights used can also soothe your child. In addition, allowing your child to pick the colours/patterns will give them more control and be more likely to soothe them. 

Top tips 

There are different ways you can use a light projector to ensure that you’re going to get the best use out of it:

  • Don’t use blue or white tones
  • Point the projector from the ground up
  • Get a night projector with various brightness settings 
  • A night projector with sound goes a long way

Blue or white tones: avoid them 

Avoiding blue and white tones in kids projectors is almost impossible. Almost. However, it can be done. 

There have been studies done on the impact of white and blue lights (or cool colours) on your ability to sleep. White and blue activate the Melatonin in your brain, thus inducing alertness. In other words, these colour lights make it harder for us to sleep.

On the other hand, red, pink and purple hues have been found to have the opposite impact. Although I don’t believe this should be the only factor to influence your decision, it’s some good food for thought. 

Pointing the projector from the ground

A lot of parents will place night projectors on a stand or closet. However, this means they stand closer to the ceiling. The result? A brighter reflection. 

The further your light from the ceiling, the more distance the light has to travel to reflect – weakening it and dimming it. The dimmer the light, the easier it will be for your child to sleep. 

Brightness settings

Nowadays, lightbulbs displaying different brightness capabilities and colours is common. They’re used in restaurants to create ideal ambient conditions and in the home during Christmas. One clear example of this is the success of the Philips hue.

With that being said, it isn’t that costly for manufacturers to include this. If your child has a smaller room, what a manufacturer considers “dim” might not be dim enough. As such, a brightness toggle is a great solution for rooms of different sizes. 

Sound

A lot of night lights nowadays come with optional sound for your children. Of course, it’s important that the noise is optional, as often it isn’t a solution for every child. However, similarly to the use of a light, sound can provide both comfort and drown out background noise. 

Having a light with sound will cost a little more, but can be worth it – especially if you check on your children often. 

Top 3 kids projectors

This brings us to our top selection of children’s projectors. We’ve based all of our choices on prior mentioned tips, as well as price points and general consensus. 

Our top kids projectors pick: Delicacy ocean wave projector ($$)

The Delicacy ocean wave offers a multitude of benefits at a relatively low price point. This projector is aimed at adults and children alike, and really after using it for a while now, I don’t think I could sleep without it. 

The Delicacy Ocean Wave doesn’t display any specific image when projecting, which is great for kids as there’s no real focal point. The projector displays a “wave effect”, which can really be best described as a mixture of colours in a rippled effect. You can choose to rotate the projector using this effect or keep it still. For kids we would definitely recommend keeping the projector still as it does make a slight noise during rotation. 

Further to this, the projector comes in 7 colour modes. These range from a mixture of cool tones to warm tones and a blend of both. As previously discussed, we would suggest to keep clear of the cooler tones or the heavily mixed tones. These can be counterproductive and offer too much of a distraction for slightly older children. The best colour mixture we found was the purple/red tones. 

Not only does the projector offer what we’ve come to expect in childrens night lights, but adds to this by having a mini-speaker within the projector. The great thing about this was that there was no “set” song or noise it played, it could connect directly to your phone or iPod. We have to admit that although a fantastic feature for adults, it’s perhaps not the best for small children that could reach the device. In an ideal world, the projector would include bluetooth connection, but we can’t win them all at this price point. 

However, having a choice over the music will ensure you can play tunes you know that your children fall asleep to. 

The Delicacy Ocean wave’s arguably best feature is its auto-timer. This does 2 things:

  • Stops you coming into the room to turn off the device
  • Saves on the electricity

If you would prefer not to use the autotimer, the projector is both controlled through touch buttons and a remote control, so you wouldn’t necessarily have to come into the room to turn it off. 

Noteworthy features 

Not only does the projector allow you to plug in your phone, but also has some preset tones like:

  • Wave noises 
  • Bird sounds
  • Forest sounds 

Of course, this might not be to your children’s taste, but if you prefer not to leave your phone with your children, it’s a great solution. 

In addition, the Ocean wave was able to be displayed at different angles. This is perfect for ensuring the light hits at an angle or distance that isn’t too distracting for your children. 

Some things we thought could be improved:

No product is perfect. In order to maintain total transparency with you, the reader, honesty is integral. There were a few things about this product we felt could be improved, but weren’t deal breakers. 

As previously mentioned we wished the Ocean wave came with bluetooth capabilities. This would allow for you to use your phone from a different room or in a place your child can’t reach it. However, we understand this feature would most likely boost the price of the Ocean wave. 

In addition, we thought some of the materials used for the product to be quite light. We would have preferred the manufacturer to use materials to make the product a little heavier and thus have a higher quality feel to it. If you tap this product in the wrong way, it falls over. However, with children in mind, a lighter product is definitely safer although less robust. 

The final thing we thought could use improvement was the rotate feature on the ocean wave. Although a nice idea, when on, it tended to make the image jump or jolt a little. Of course, with children this feature would be less likely to be used – however, the jumping was pretty distracting. 

Mid range kids projectors choice: Star light rotating projector ($$)

The star light rotating projector is a compact, versatile projector for your children. Standing at 6.7 inches, the projector is non-intrusive and can fit into any room. This makes it a great choice should your children choose to get out of bed (there’s no worry of them tripping or falling over this device). 

The projector also comes with a string attachment, which allows you to hang it to door handles. However, we wouldn’t recommend doing this as: 

  • The light will reflect strongly against the door, perhaps offering a distraction for you child. 
  • Door handle level is bed level and as such, the light will likely shine directly into your child’s bed. 

The Star Light rotating projector displays images of the galaxy across your child’s bedroom. Although a great concept, it can be distracting, especially if the projector is rotating. However, the projector also double as a nightlight and so the galaxy feature is optional. This versatility is what really allows this projector to stand out against others. 

On this topic, the projector is the only one featured that uses an exclusively red light as one of its colour options (of which there are 8). This is great as red light options are the only colour that doesn’t “hinder” sleep patterns. However, should you want to use the projector for entertainment, it also comes with mixed and flashing colour options. 

The Star light projector also supports both USB and battery powered options. This makes it handy to place anywhere within your childs room. In addition, the projector has a timer – a handy feature that saves on electricity. One thing we found was that the timer on the projector was slightly distracting, as it showed a live minute by minute countdown. One way you can combat this is by forcing the projector timer to face the wall – but it’s a little inconvenient. 

What we didn’t like:

There isn’t much we didn’t like about the Star light projector, however, it was not without error. We found that the colour descriptions didn’t match the colour exposure too much. For example, the red displayed was more a pinky hue in bigger rooms. However, this is to be expected due to the light being dispersed further. 

We also didn’t like that the projector was made out of plastic (although it comes in 2 different colours). For us, this gave the projector a little bit of a cheap feel. We didn’t have any problems with the projector during the time we used it, so the impact of this didn’t seem to be big. 

It would be great for the Star light to plug into the mains as buying batteries often and plugging it into a laptop via USB became a touch annoying. However, all of the disadvantages mentioned here were small things that didn’t hinder day to day use or quality of the light. 

Budget kids projectors pick: SOAIY sleep soother aurora projector ($)

Our final pick was the SOAIY sleep soother aurora projector. This projector uses a mixture of colours (red, green and blue) to project colours onto the walls or ceiling. The colours take on no specific shape or structure, but moves in a circular motion. We found the dancing lights to be very soothing, but could offer a distraction for older children.

This projector is interchangeable between battery power and mains power – so travels well and can also be used in outdoor environments. The projector also has a mini speaker attached, which can be plugged into your phone via Aux. Although bluetooth would be nice, the low price point of this speaker disallows for this function. 

For the price, the SOAIY packs a punch in terms of light output, we’d definitely recommend this in a larger room. One of the final great points of this projector is it’s auto off feature after one hour. So you don’t need to creep into your child’s room in order to turn it off. 

We would have enjoyed the SOAIY to have a few more light colour options and make a little less noise whilst rotating. Additionally, in order to make this work in smaller rooms, you have to angle the projector – otherwise it is too bright for sleeping children. 

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