Laser Stars, retail $179.95 (
Manufactured by Can You Imagine (
Last updated 05-10-10

The Laser Stars is an amazing projector that uses a green DPSS laser to project a slowly moving starfield onto a light-colored ceiling or wall; you can also add blue colored clouds (also slowly moving) with fully variable intensity to the projection if you wish. The blue “clouds” are produced with at least one blue LED; possibly more.

According to the box and to the furnished instructional materials, there will also be occasional “shooting stars” (meteors); though I have yet to see one even though I have been especially observant - specifically looking for them.


To use the Laser Stars, plug the small plug on the end of the wall wart AC adapter's cord into the female receptacle for it on the back side of the big grey “star”, be certain the power switch on the top of this “star” is set to "off", and plug the larger part of the wall wart into any standard (in north America anyway) 110 to 130 volts AC 60Hz receptacle.

Rock the rocker switch on the top of the “star” to the "on" position, direct (aim) the unit at a light colored ceiling or wall, turn the room lights off, and enjoy the show.

To add blue “clouds” to the starfield, tur the pot (knob) on the back of the “star” clockwise to brighten them, and turn the knob counterclockwise to dim them - keep turning counterclockwise until it stops to turn the “clouds” completely off.

This product is powered by AC only, so I do not have to tell you which part to remove & flush away and then tell you not to.

This is a household lamp designed to be placed in a dry area and not screwed with very often, not a flashlight designed to be carried around, thrashed, trashed, and abused. So I won't throw it against the wall, stomp on it, try to drown it in the toylet bowl or the cistern, run over it, swing it against the concrete floor of a patio, use a ball peen hammer in order to bash it open to check it for candiosity, fire it from the cannoñata (I guess I've been watching the TV program “Viva Piñata” too much again - candiosity is usually checked with a laser-type device on a platform with a large readout, with a handheld wand that Langston Lickatoad uses, or with a pack-of-cards-sized device that Fergy Fudgehog uses; and the cannoñata is only used to shoot piñatas to piñata parties away from Piñata Island), send it to the Daystrom Institute for additional analysis, or inflict upon it punishments that flashlights may have inflicted upon them. So this section of the Laser Stars' web page will appear more bare than this section of the web page on a web page about a flashlight.

The brightest “star” stays in the center all the time; I haven’t observed any movement from it during the last several hours.

The only thing I really don't care for is the recommendation that it be operated for no more than 4 hours at a time. I may just leave it on all night (the evening of 12-01-07 to the morning of 12-02-07) just because I think it's so cool (or “kool” or “kewl”).
And if it blows up overnight, I have the toliet rating () handy.

What I really need is one of those outlet timers (the electromechanical kind; I’m not certain whether the electronic versions alter the AC waveform or not) - that way, I can leave it on all the time and just have it turn on for several hours in the evenings.

The labelling on the product indicates that it is a CDRH Class IIIa laser product, which by law must output under 5mW.
The sensor on my laser power meter is far, far too small for me to take a measurement of it in order to verify this.
However, since the laser beam is dispersed into many “stars”, I don’t expect hazardous levels of laser radiation to be produced by this product under any circumstances whatsoever. Not no way, not no how.

I measured a power output of just 313.5µW (microwatts) (0.3135mW) from the stationary (and by far, the brightest) central "star".

I’ve been specifically looking for “shooting stars” (meteors) (as it reads on the box and to the furnished instructional materials - the display is occasionally punctuated by one), but in several hours of operation and observation, I have yet to see one.

Photograph of the “stars” on a ceiling at ~7 feet.

Photograph of the “stars” and “clouds” on a ceiling at ~7 feet.
In this photograph, the “clouds” look a bit like an emission nebula.

Photograph of the "stars" on a wall at <1 foot.
There were *FAR MORE* "stars" than this photograph shows.
The streaks indicate "stars" that were in motion.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the laser in the Laser Stars.
Note the total absence of the 808nm NIR line from the pump laser diode.
Not that it matters a great deal, but it would appear that the laser in this product is very well filtered.

Spectrographic analysis
Same as above; different spectrometer & software used.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the blue LED in the Laser Stars.

Spectrographic analysis
Same as above; different spectrometer & software used.

USB2000 spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.

WMP movie (.avi extension) showing the product in action.
This clip is approximately 5.5 megabytes (5,681,150 bytes) in length; dial-up users please be aware.
It will take no less than twenty five minutes to load at 48.0Kbps.

WMP movie (.avi extension) showing the “stars” in a very dark room.
This clip is approximately 1.1 megabytes (1,159,634 bytes) in length; dial-up users please be aware.
It will take no less than four minutes to load at 48.0Kbps.

WMP movie (.avi extension) allowing you to see & hear the noise at power-up.
This clip is approximately 2.35 megabytes (2,426,764 bytes) in length; dial-up users please be aware.
It will take no less than nine minutes to load at 48.0Kbps.
I cannot provide any of these clips in other formats, so please do not ask.

The human eye sees ***FAR*** more "stars" than the camera does; please do
not make your purchasing decision based on these movie clips alone!!!

This is a video on YourTube showing the Laser Stars pooping out.

This clip is approximately 18.44467825892 megabytes (18,671,970 bytes) in length; dial-up users please be aware.
It will take no less than ninety two minutes to load at 48.0Kbps.

Test unit was purchased on the LiveScienceStore website on the evening of 11-30-07, and (amazingly enough!) was received late-morning of 12-01-07!!! (the very next day!!!)
Now *THAT’S* what I call “speedy delivery” (as they used to say on the TV program “Mister Roger’s Neighbourhood”)

Product was made in China.
A product's country of origin really does matter to some people, which is why I published it on this web page.

The AC adapter has an output of 6 volts AC at 1,500mA (1.5A).
The polarity of the plug does not matter in this case, because the secondary (low voltage) side of the transformer outputs AC, not DC.

UPDATE: 12-03-07
In another catalogue that came with the Laser Stars, it states that not only are meteors visible; but nebulae, planets, and comets are also supposed to be produced. I have not yet seen any of these astronomical phenomena though.

UPDATE: 12-05-07
Last night, I believe I may have seen a "comet" not far from the central (brightest, stationary) "star"; it was a slow-moving, elongated "smudge" and did not "orbit" the central "star" as I expected it would; it had a somewhat erratic course and changed directions as it "flew".

UPDATE: 12-17-07
I believe I have now seen "shooting stars" (meteors) - one that I observed was very dim (if I were observing a real night time sky outdoors, it would have an approximate magnitude of +4), moved *SIGNIFICANTALLY* faster than the other "stars", and recurred regularly with a period of exactly 88 seconds (I timed it by counting the seconds listening to a ticking clock nearby while observing). I observed & timed the "meteor" several times in succession just to be certain it was not a fluke.

Although some real-life meteors are bright and leave a glowing "train" (glowing tail) behind them, most are dim - though considerably faster than the meteors produced by the Laser Stars.

I find it incredible that all of the various features come from just two rotating wheels (as stated in the instructional material) - the speeds and directions of the "stars" displayed would seem to require much more than two wheels.

UPDATE: 01-21-08
The unit makes a fairly loud buzzing or "motor" noise for a couple of minutes when it's turned on after it's been turned off for awhile (an hour or so). This noise is somewhat obnoxious, but it only lasts for a couple of minutes.

UPDATE: 01-22-08
Shot a short movie clip allowing you to hear this sound when the unit is turned on.

UPDATE: 09-02-08
Power output of the laser is really whirling down the {vulgar term for feces}bowl.
I measured 32.1µW (microwatts) (0.0321mW) from the stationary (and by far, the brightest) central "star". This is down from the "new" measurement of 313.5µW (0.3135mW) from the same location taken approximately ten months ago.

Since the power output has dropped this much, a lot of the dimmer "stars" and all of the "meteors" are no longer visible.

UPDATE: 01-17-10
It would appear that one of the discs responsible for pattern projection has failed.
Approximately 10% to 15% of the visible "stars" no longer move -- that's how I came to this assessment.

UPDATE: 01-17-10
No, you aren't seeing things.
Yes, a same-day update.
I disembowelled the unit just to see if I could determine the source of the problem, and was not successful.

A motor & gearhead assembly causes a pair of discs to rotate ***VERY SLOWLY*** in front of the green laser; nothing is hidden or obscured. No problems were found. However, these discs may have been designed to counterrotate (spin in opposite directions); if this is the case, there's little that I'll be able to do here.

I did however, localise the source of that unusual buzzing noise...a small boxer fan is directed at the green laser module to help keep it cool; this fan is noisy for several minutes at startup.

UPDATE: 01-17-10
No, you aren't seeing things.
Yes, a third same-day update.
I disassembled the product again to check and see if I had reinstalled the fan incorrectly (as far as I'm able to determine, I did not), as the laser output power dropped drastically overnight. I measured just 50.70µW from the brightest, central "star".

Very unique in the way of "home" laser shows
Green laser "stars" have a much greater variety of movement than expected
Low power consumption means its power usage won't break the bank

Unit makes a rather obnoxious sound at power-on after being switched off for awhile
Multiple failures - this is why I derated it so much

    MANUFACTURER: Can You Imagine
    PRODUCT TYPE: Laser “starfield” generator
    LAMP TYPE: DPSS laser, LED
    No. OF LAMPS: At least 2 (1 green DPSS laser, at least 1 blue LED)
    SWITCH TYPE: Rocker switch on/off
    CASE MATERIAL: Plastic
    BEZEL: Plastic; glass windows protect laser & LED projectors
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
    ACCESSORIES: AC adapter
    WARRANTY: 45 days


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Laser Stars *

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