Projection clocks often intrigue many, so today we decided to write an elaborate article on them. We will start off by looking into what they are and some things about them and then move on to a list of our best recommend Musical clocks that you can buy as of now. So, without further ado, let’s get right into it.
A projection clock is basically a clock either analog or digital that portrays a large image of a clock and displays time usually on a wall/ roof or any other plain surface along with telling time itself. The projection is obviously just a virtual one that comes to life due to certain arrangements of the rays that the projection clocks produce. This means that they need a light source like a bulb or an LED to actually make the projection along with the battery to power it. Moreover, as you might have guessed, there is no use of projection clocks in bright daylight as the more the light the less clear it will seem and more difficult to read it will become. For this very reason, there are also high-brightness projection clocks which just as the name suggests are better in a high-brightness environment.
Many modern projection clocks usually come with a red LED-based projector, they also go on to offer some optional features that one can use, for instance setting up the projection with a click of a button and even setting up an alarm clock. There are also some Projection clocks that are also radio clocks, which means that they receive signals from the atomic clocks to tell the accurate time and project it in case you need it to be projected
How Does A Projection Clock Work?
Projection clocks work mosly like a normal clock except from the additional feature of having a light source which will turn on and off and project a clock when you wish. There is usually a button that you can press to use the light source to make the actual projection
Projection clocks like we said require batteries to run along with an oscillator and more or less works in the same fashion as other clocks aside from the light projection part. The oscillator in a digital clock is usually in the form of a crystal that is made up of glass. And as the electric charge passes and goes through the crystal, it will cause a lot of vibrations and make a sound. This sound is then converted into an electronic signal. Which, through using a counter is converted to oscillations of 1 Hz oscillations. This is done through the work of various counters. The very first of which would count 10 oscillations as one. And another one present alongside with it would count 60 as one (or six 10 ones)
This basically becomes the base of hertz being one oscillation for one second. Each counter is connected with an electronic chip that then goes on to signal displays that goes on to signal the display and which then uses light to display the present time of the moment. This is the time that then you project on a screen or a wall however you like
The display is either an LED or LCD light display which is also referred to as the “7-segment display”. The innards of a projection clock ( just like any digital clock ) are derived in a way that they go and change each four of the digits when an hour is up. And keep on going with a sequence and flow. Projection clocks mostly use a 50 or 65-hertz oscillation of AC power or in other words a 32,768-hertz crystal oscillator as in a quartz clock to tell time the same which is used in most digital clocks. Most of the projection clocks out there come with a 24 hour a day format and many offer the option of changing into a 12 hour option
Are Ceiling Clocks And Projection Clocks The Same Thing?
Yes, Cieling clock is just another name for projectino clock, which is given to them as their light can be projected to make a virtual clock in the ceiling as well as any other wall or plain surface
Now that we have discussed projection clocks in detail, lets take a look into some of the best projection clocks that are availalbe in the market as of now.
A great looking projection clock especially for people on a budget as it is one of the cheapest ones you could find coming at a mere price of $16.69. The projection feature of this clock shows time in the color red that you can project on whatever wall you like. This clock also comes with an alarm feature with an 8-minute snooze feature. More importantly, this is a radio clock as well which means it receives signals from atomic clocks to stay and tell the most accurate time. If you want to know more about what a radio-controlled clock is, we have a great article written on that too, you can give it a look “here” if you are interested. Anyways coming back to the point, this clock weighs 0.13 pounds and comes with the following dimensions: 4.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 inches
This clock has an average rating of 4.3 stars out of 202 ratings on Amazon. 64% of which are 5 stars. Lets give some of the reviews moving on
D Carol Says: Gave 4 Stars
“I had the previous model RM313PNA for 8 years and it’s been our favorite bedroom clock because it’s so small, cute, and simple, and love the ceiling projection when peeking with one eye open in the middle of the night. However I always wished the projection was brighter because it gets washed out at sunrise as soon as a tiny bit of ambient sunlight gets around the window shades. So I compared the brightness of the old model with the new model, side-by-side. This new RM313PNFA is the one with the thinner numbers on the left, and the old RM313PNA with thicker numbers on the right (set to the wrong time because the auto atomic clock stopped working).
The new model appears around 20% brighter because the beam is more narrowly focused — more concentrated light. Here are some photos where I kept turning on more lights in the room. Both get washed out with about the same number of lights on. So it’s not a huge difference, there is still room for product improvement to make a brighter projection that doesn’t get so easily washed out with a little bit of ambient sunlight leaking into the room.”
Cheryl Says: Gave 5 Stars
“I bought this clock for its projection feature. I love that isn’t too bright at night as to disrupt your sleep. Yet, it disappears totally when you turn on a light. I have vision issues and it would be great to see the large projection clock at a glance while getting ready for the day. The accuracy is pretty good so far. I have only had it for a few weeks now.
Update: I still love this little projection clock. It keeps The time accurately. Not sure why there are negative comments. My experience is quite positive. Thank you very much.”
K. Zsolczai Says: Gave 4 Stars
“We had this before and when it broke (after many years), we bought a much more expensive unit from Braun for close to $100. The Braun was really nice. It looked great. It had adjustable tilt and brightness. You could project it to the wall toward your feet. After a few years that broke as well and we went back to this.
This little unit is a great value for the price. It would be perfect if it had tilt. But you can only project this onto the ceiling and it is also a bit too bright. Overall I do recommend this still but only 4 stars.”
Lazuritte Says: Gave 3 Stars
“I bought this white version as a replacement for a much, much older silver model that had lost it’s ability to project or light up. I was happy to learn the clock now has a “flip” feature that allows you to better orient the projected time onto the ceiling. Set up is easy, clock is attractive. I really have only one complaint, and it’s a big one. When the clock is plugged in, the display is *completely* unreadable, as shown on the right photo. Display is perfect when unplugged using batteries only (left photo). Logic would say just use battery power so you can read the clock, but the projection feature only works when the clock is plugged in! Annoying to have to constantly unplug it during the day so I can read it and plug it in at night so I can use it properly.
Also noticed that the snooze light is now blue and much, much brighter in this newer model. I personally would prefer a bit softer blue light, but it’s not really a problem.”
Projection Digital Alarm Clock for Bedroom, Projector Clock,Large 7” LED Display&Dimmer, USB Charger
A great projection clock that puts on the projection time and you can command it to stop whenever you want. It can stay on for how much ever long you want. The clock comes with 180° rotatable swivel projector and projects ultra-clear time which means that you can show time wherever and however you want. The level of light of the projection also comes with three different levels that you can choose from. The clock also comes stuffed with a great alarm that you can use which also comes with a volume button that you can adjust according to your need.
Furthermore, this projection clock also comes with USB Charging Port & AC Power & Battery Backup Settings and can display time in 12 hours or 24-hour format however you like it. Lastly, this clock weight 0.53 pounds, comes with the following dimensions:6.1 x 1.4 x 0.9 inches and is available at a price of $23.99 as of now on Amazon
This clock has an average rating of 4.3 stars out of 332 ratings. 62 % of these ratings are 5 stars.
Veronica kellly Says: Gave 5 Stars
“Great clock! Easy to understand and set times and alarms. Love the projection on the ceiling! Cool blue color and easy on the eyes. Great price and product!”
Susan Says: Gave 5 Stars
“This is really easy to use. I love it. The time has large numbers that are easy to read. If you are or have someone visually impaired,
it is easy to read. The only issue is that if you want to read the time on the ceiling during the day, you can’t. It is plenty bright at night. I can read it at night without my glasses. I bought another thinking ceiling time could be read in the day. No, and it had no focus for projection. Will buy this one again”
Gary Holt Says: Gave 2 stars
“I would have liked this clock a lot (better than the other two projection clocks I own) if it could have focused on the ceiling properly. It seemed to have a maximum focus distance of significantly less than a meter (less than a yard), which meant that you had to have it pretty high up. And when it was that high up, the spot on the ceiling was too small.
So we just turned off the projection and use the clock as is. The clock itself is nice: big numbers for those of us who can’t see without our glasses. It’s dimmable to something reasonable. Acts like a clock. I don’t care about any of the rest of the features; my phone can do alarms, music, and all that stuff better, so I don’t want it in a clock.”
Wes Says: Gave 5 Stars
“I bought this for my camper because I don’t have a bedside table to place a clock. It projects on the wall and I turned down the brightness on the clock itself to the minimum so it’s not too bright. It works fantastic, I can read it in the middle of the night without glasses. If there’s light in the room it won’t work obviously, but at least then I know it’s morning anyway!”
Another great projection clock that comes at a cheap price of $21.73. The clock is made up of plastic and comes in a clean black color. The projection of this clock is quite adjustable as it auto-focuses and also comes in Rotatable direction (90 degrees). Moreover, you can set the time manually on this clock and the brightness level of the projection can also be adjusted however you like, as you have the option of choosing from 4 different brightness levels. The clock also displays the temperature and you can also charge your mobile with it
This clock has an average rating of 4.4 out of a total 554 ratings. 70 % of these ratings are 5 Stars. lets take a look at some of the reviews
Escape Says: Gave 4 stars
“Main display is really nice and on the lowest setting it’s dim enough to not be disrupting at night while sleeping, but still bright enough to be visible. Thermometer reads correctly. Humidity reads a few % low compared to my other meter – I’m not sure which one is correct.
Few small negatives:
1. The projection display is a bit fuzzy/unfocused on one side. Not sure if they’re all like that or just mine.
2. The USB charging port is very weak. I tried pulling 0.5A from it, and the voltage already dropped down to 4.8V. Alas, I did not buy this clock for its USB fort, so no biggie.“
Robert Says: Gave 4 Stars
“I have been searching for a projection clock that was simple to use and functioned as I wanted. I have purchased and returned 4 of these clocks. I wanted the time displayed continuously (not have to wait 5-10 seconds to see time), to be able to rotate time image 90 degrees, to be able to adjust brightness of clock display and projection image easily. I did not want the atomic clock option as I have too many hills that block the signal, I did not want commercial radio or outdoor temp either I have other sources for that. I wanted to be able to easily set and adjust time. This clock has it all! So far I am very happy with it and I hope it is durable as well, time will tell!”
Diggy Says: Gave 5 Stars
“I am a nurse that works strange shifts that require me to sleep during the day. I have taken every mesure to ‘black out’ my room and have been pretty successful at it. I am also very nearsighted -5.25 in both eyes. I wanted an alternative to checking the time without turning in bed to find my phone to check the time only to be distracted by my phone. This is a God send. The light from the clock is just bright enough to project the time.”
VK Says: Gave 4 Stars
“Things I love:– you can control the rotation of the projection with a button so you can place the clock in whatever space you have available – the light of the clock is dimmable to nothing, which is great for people who can’t sleep with any light in the room – it’s wide and short so it doesn’t tip easily – easy to set up Things I’d like: – usb power instead of – there is a compartment for batteries which I have put in even though I have the clock plugged in. Yet, when my power went off, I had to reset the time. It would be nice for it to remember the time when batteries are inserted. – usb-powered (you can charge devices through a USB port but you can’t power the clock via USB)
All-in-all I recommend this, though I can’t yet speak to its durability.”
TechKen Projection Alarm Clock
Another great projection clock that also pronounces the time, a feature that you can turn off at will. The clock comes with a 5 to 10 second LED projection time after you press the dome. An important thing to note about this clock is that it doesn’t allow you to project time always. But the clock also comes with an alarm feature and tells the temperature if you want it to. Last but not the least, the clock is available on Amazon at a price of $11.97 and also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so in case you don’t end up liking the clock, you can always ask for a refund.
This is a great clock but shouldn’t be your choice if you want the time to be projected on a wall at all times, so do kkeep that in mind like we said
This clock has an overall rating of 3.1 stars out of 206 ratings, 28% of which are 5 Stars
Dani Says: Gave 4 Stars
“This is a very cute, basic clock with projection that does its job perfectly. I read some reviews of people being disappointed because the clock doesn’t project all the time, but the description states clearly that the projection lasts only 10″ upon pushing the top. What’s to be disappointed about? The voice can be turn off, so if you wake up in the middle of the night, the clock leaves you in peace in the darkness, and if you push the top it projects the hour for only 10″, silently. The beauty of simplicity. Oh, and it has the temperature (on the displays only) adjustable Fahrenheit/Celsius. Mine arrived also very quickly.”
May S says: Gave 5 Stars
“I love my TechKen Projection Alarm Clock Voice Alarm Clock. I keep it on my bookcase headboard and I can reach it at anytime throughout the night and the time is projected on the ceiling. It can tell you the time too if you set it to do so. It also shows the temperature in the room. It arrived quickly and is exactly as advertised. I recommend this seller (also the clock) to you.”
Kdicken Says: Gave 1 Star
“…small and time does not stay projected on the ceiling”
This was an elaborate article on projection clocks, hopefully, it was helpful in informing you about projection clocks and recommending you some that you can look into if you are interested in buying one. Lastly, if you want to know why clocks don’t appear in dreams, we have a great article on just that so do give it a click if you are interested “Why don’t clocks appear in dreams? Clocks and dreams!“. Here is also a link about the history of clocks if you want to give that a look “History of timekeeping devices“