Every time I open the TikTok app, it seems like I get an advert for the Astrol Light Galaxy Projector. It shows entire rooms lit up with what feels like the night sky, filled with green dots that act like stars and a projection of a crescent moon. But these are adverts. They’re supposed to show their products in the best light, no pun intended. But in reality, how great is the night sky or galaxy effect? Well, in this video I’ll be running through everything that’s capable of the Astrol Galaxy Projector.

Let’s start by taking a look at the projector itself and its functionality. It’s not very big, has a bulb on top and touch buttons around the circumference of the right-hand side. It’s made from plastic and unfortunately, has a very cheap feel to it, like if it gets knocked off the side, it’s definitely going to break kind of feeling. It’s powered via micro USB and says it has a 2,000mAh battery on the Astrol website, but mine here doesn’t charge or seem to be charging, and there’s no indicator light telling me it’s receiving a charge from a power source. There’s also no indication from the box if I have the original version or the wireless version either. It’s just a plain box that doesn’t reflect the box shown on the website whatsoever.

To run through the buttons on the side of my projector here, the top button is for power. It turns the projector on and off. Second cycles through all of the different colours available. The third cycle through different modes, like turning the moon on and off, turning the star effect on and off and breathing the stars in and out, or turning the colour waves on and off. The fourth is for sound activation, which when used with music, turns it into a strobe effect which is absolutely hideous. Do not use this setting unless you want to give yourself a headache. And why would you want to do that? It reacts to each and every tiny bit of music it hears and it’s just ridiculous. The buttons are touch-sensitive, and when I say sensitive, I mean sensitive. Every time I wanted to move the light, I turned it off, or switched colour or turned the stars off. The lightest of touches will have your settings changed or powered off. It’s ridiculous really, especially as they’re around the outside of the device. Proper buttons or even centred buttons would have worked best I think.

There is also a partner app, but it didn’t seem to feature anything else that you couldn’t achieve with the buttons on the side, so I didn’t bother hooking up the light to my home WiFi. Doing so though does mean you can control the light with Amazon Alexa. I haven’t got the Amazon Alexa infrastructure in my home, I am a Google Home guy, so again, hooking the projector up to my WiFi, for this reason, was pointless.

But this is a galaxy projector after all, and I suppose we need to talk about the actual projection effect. Well, it comes pretty close to what’s being demonstrated in their adverts, but there was still something to be desired by the effect it gave. They’re not lying, however, just maybe exaggerating, which is exactly what adverts are supposed to do. Placement is absolutely key to getting the best effect. I first tried the Astrol Light in my living room by placing it towards the back of my coffee table which sits in between my sofa and chair, but the sofa arms blocked off a lot of the light. This has a lot to do with the orientation the light can sit. There are three separate feet, which are there to aim the Astrol Light either upwards, or at a diagonal angle. When it was on the coffee table, it was firing diagonally out into the room.

I then moved it to the sofa arm. The effect got better but this isn’t very practical, especially if you’re expecting to make it more of a feature in the room. Next, the floor in the centre of the room, which gave it the widest spread on the ceiling, which personally I liked the best. But again, not hugely practical. For my third and fourth tests I moved the light to a table sitting in front of the camera and fired it into the room which produced a better spread of light albeit less bright, and finally behind the camera, which again improved the spread, at the expense of more light. There is a big drop off unfortunately when it comes to the colour waves and the green dots or stars had a much better spread. I would have liked to have seen a far more powerful light coming out of the projector for the waves, just to improve quality and brightness, but also coverage too. The light was far from room-filling, and nowhere near bright enough if you had the luxury of placing one of these in a corner high enough to get the desired spread. I’d at best call this corner filling, or part of your wall filling.

This begs the question. Is the Astrol Light Galaxy Projector worth the price? No. The basic model comes in at £70 on the Astrol website, and if you want the Alexa WiFi capable one you’re looking at £90. They are on sale at the time of writing this piece at £35 and £45, but for the original ticket price, absolutely not. If I found the original ticket pricing to be a little closer to maybe £20 and £35? Then yeah sure, buy one, use it for a bit, show off to your friends, buy it for your kids because they’ll love it because TikTok said so, but be warned, advertisers are good at making their products seem better than they are, and I for one think that’s the case here.