- Attractive spherical satin black industrial design only 16cm wide and 620g in weight (1.36 lbs)
- 5W warm white LED for projecting the optical image.
- Smooth focus dial allowing for projection distances of as small as 120 cm to 290 cm (3'11" to 9'5")
- Northern or Southern Diurnal rotation
- Silent operation when rotating the star field
- Integrated "shooting star" for enhancing the projected image with periodic meteoroids
- Removable disc platter for use with Homestar optical images
- Integrated timer for 15-minute, 30-minute, and 1-hour sessions and 3-hour automatic shutoff
- 2 Optical discs included, a Northern Hemisphere night sky and a Northern Hemisphere night sky with constellations, with over 60,000 stars projected simultaneously
- USB-powered for use with portable battery units
If you're looking to represent a night sky for an authentic home planetarium experience, the Sega Toys Homestar Flux is your answer. However, it's also the most expensive product on our list at $259.
Why is this product so expensive? We can start with the build quality and components.
Using a patented photographic process similar to microfiche, the Homestar Flux uses analog removable discs with very high resolution, simultaneously showing as many as a million distinct stars. The product was designed in conjunction with Japanese astronomer/engineer Takayuki Ohira (TED Talk), the inventor of the Megastar, a professional laser-based planetarium projector that can show the most stars in the world. Sega (via its Sivesco subsidiary) has been in the home planetarium business since 2006. There are also third parties that also make discs for the unit besides Sega, such as Miller Engineering.
In addition to star fields, Sega also sells Homestar discs representing other astronomical formations, such as nebulas, galaxies, planets, and even jellyfish. I like using this product in the bedroom or on my covered patio because it's most usable at night in a very dark room, and its light projector is bright enough to see the star formations but not so bright as a laser that will keep you up at night.
The integrated timer is also suitable for listening to a sleep story for apps like Calm, which have 30-minute audio segments. Unfortunately, you can't integrate the two because this product is purely mechanical, and there's no Bluetooth or WiFi integration with Alexa, Google, or Siri. There's also no way to control it remotely -- you have it set for "on" or in 15-minute, 30-minute, or 60-minute sessions.