Recently I heard about the Cloud b Twilight Constellation Night Light, which is a stuffed turtle that projects stars from it's shell. I considered ordering one, but first I searched for a cheaper star projector.
The cheapest one by far is Astrostar Astro Star Laser Projector Cosmos Light Lamp, at just $15. The pictures look amazing. However, the reviews are something else.
After reading most of the reviews, I began to see the problem. No where in the Amazon description does it say that this is a kit, and the pictures only show it fully assembled. A few good reviews indicated that it is actually a good kit for people who want that sort of thing.
The box for the kit
Unassembled parts inside the box
The instructions seemed fairly straightforward. First, I assembled the bulb holder.
Bulb holder half assembled
Bulb holder assembled
Bulb holder with stickers
I managed to cut my finger on my scissors while cutting the sticker, but otherwise I had no problems.
Next came the switch and battery assembly. The instructions depict a different type of switch, but this one was easy to install.
Top of the switch
Battery terminals in place
There is another plastic bit that goes across the batteries to hold them in place. I didn't have any problems with this part.
Next was the starfield 'dome' assembly. This part actually required skill, and seemed the easiest to mess up.
One piece of the dome
Removing the protective film
Adding double-sided tape
Mostly assembled, missing the top bit
The inside of the dome
Dome mostly complete, time to add the bottom
Bottom in place
The dome was not that hard to assemble. The letters on each side piece match up to each other. Mine isn't perfectly aligned and has a few holes but it is hardly noticeable.
A quick test
It isn't really necessary to cut the excess tabs from the dome, but it looks better.
I took it into the darkest room in my apartment (the bathroom) and used my real camera to take some pictures.
ISO 800 picture, what it looks like to my eyes
ISO 1600, much brighter than real life
It also works in my bedroom at night (ISO 800)
Overall, it's a pretty good kit. It took me about half an hour to assemble. I bought it for $7 it's worth that much at least. If you are decent at assembling kits, this is fun to build and the end product is pretty amazing. If you aren't good at assembling kits, there are many commercial personal star projectors out there for you.
The biggest flaw is that most of the 'stars' are pretty blurry on the walls, so actually picking out constellations or specific stars is hard to impossible.