Updated June 28, 2019 by Karen Bennett

The 6 Best Projection Clocks

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This wiki has been updated 26 times since it was first published in March of 2015. Do you ever find yourself staring upward and wondering what time it is? OK, maybe you don't, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be helpful to have a chronometer on the ceiling. In addition to looking cool, these projection clocks can ensure you don't show up late for work or miss an important appointment, and save you from craning your neck to look at a bedside table model or picking up your phone. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best projection clock on Amazon.

6. Oregon Scientific RM313

5. La Crosse Technology 616-146A

4. Electrohome EAAC601

3. Ambient Weather WS-8460

2. Mesqool MS-CR01

1. Sonic Blast

Special Honors

Sharper Image Weather Projection Clock Know the time and weather forecast before you even get out of bed with this selection’s LED-generated large, clear picture on your wall or ceiling. Its amber LCD also displays this information, as well as the day/date and indoor/outdoor temperatures. It comes with a wireless sensor to help provide accurate temperature readings from right outside your home. sharperimage.com

Editor's Notes

June 26, 2019:

The highly customizable Sonic Blast steals the top spot on our list in this update, and it sure has a lot of bells and whistles to offer. First off, it displays the time on your ceiling or wall clearly and in large numbers. It also can be used as an alarm clock, with a gradual wakeup process that features a flashing light followed by a tone that increases in volume (you can choose from three sounds or even record your own), which in turn is followed by its Sonic Boom shaker which, when placed under your pillow, is sure to wake you up from even the deepest of sleep. (This feature is helpful for anyone who is hearing impaired.) It has a built-in Bluetooth speaker that produces high-quality audio, as well as a handy USB charging port. The screen offers a five-level dimmer, and it can double as a nightlight. For those who prefer to fall asleep to white noise, it offers that as well.

Also coming on board is the Ambient Weather WS-8460, which is highly similar in scope to the WS-8400 from the same manufacturer (which leaves the list because of availability issues). This one boasts a backlight that can be set to any of 256 colors. You can also choose to have it automatically select the color based on the temperature outside. Speaking of which, it comes with a wireless sensor that you can place outside your home that will convey the temperature to the clock. The clock plugs in via an AC plug, but also can run on backup batteries, and the sensor runs on a CR2032 battery that’s included.

The Vekey Wake Up also leaves the selection, since it’s not currently available.

How Are Projection Clocks Best Used?

Projection clocks can also make for perfect design elements in the home.

There are many situations which call for the use of a projector clock. In a child’s room, projector clocks are fun, multipurpose learning tools. Projector clocks can be an engaging way to help your child learn how to tell time. If a model with different LED color settings is used, you can also help teach your child colors. The calm lighting of most projection clocks really make them great night lights as well.

Projection clocks can also make for perfect design elements in the home. A clock’s projection can add to the feng shui of a room and help balance the design. Virtual projections also take up less space than physical clocks. A clock with a three feet diameter would take a lot of planning to hang over your mantelpiece. On the other hand, a projection is weightless, unless you count the mass of a photon. Either way, it takes much less energy to project a clock than to hang a clock, and the effect on your home’s design is the same.

Projection clocks are also great for minimalist living. In a small studio apartment, every inch counts. If a clock sticks out five inches from the wall, it can make the room look a lot smaller. Most projection clocks will fit on a shelf or in an unused corner of the room. This saves you some much needed space.

How To Choose A Projection Clock

You will want to factor in a few considerations before purchasing any projection clock. First off, ask yourself if you want an analog or digital projection in your home. An analog clock may be more appealing to the eye. If your projector clock will display over the mantleplace, an analog projection can be a novel design element. Consider a digital clock if the projection will be in a place you must check it often to be sure you are on time. A digital clock is much easier to read. Then take a moment to ask yourself who will be using this clock. Some projection clocks have functions and design elements most suitable for a kid’s room, while others offer a more modern, streamlined look that appeal to an adult’s eye.

Another important function is whether or not the clock has an adjustable focus.

Another important function is whether or not the clock has an adjustable focus. Some models do not offer adjustment wheels to adjust the focus and clarity of the clock. With a digital projection, this may not be as much of an issue as with an analog style projector. Consider purchasing a clock with a durable housing if it will be in a place where it can easily be knocked down, such as a nightstand. Accidents happen, and if your projection clock does not have durable housing, it can break.

You will also want to factor in how the projector clock is powered. Most clocks are powered either by batteries or an alternating current (AC) cable connected to an outlet in your home. Which solution works best for you? If your projector clock will need to be in the middle of the room, you should consider a battery powered unit. If having yet another device with batteries in your house makes you cringe, get an AC powered projector clock. Bonus features may also make a difference in your purchase as well. Additional benefits can be enticing, and include calendars, temperature display, and various projection colors.

The Invention Of The Projection Clock

Though projection clocks are enjoying a recent rise in popularity, the first projection clock was actually invented in 1992 by a man named Chih H. Pan. In his eye, the projector clock was just another advancement in the way we tell time. Ancient cultures used sundials to tell the time. Which obviously only work when the sun is out. The sundial gave way to the clepsydra, or water clock. The clepsydra told time by measuring the constant flow of water, and was accurate because of Torricelli’s Law.

Once the hourglass was invented, the water clock soon disappeared. An hourglass is a much more practical device than a water clock. It was not until the 1500s that the hourglass gave way to the mechanical clock. Mechanical clocks have enjoyed a long history of use and are still in use today. Modern day digital clocks have taken over the time-telling market, but still exist alongside mechanical clocks. In the inventor’s eye, the projector clock provided the solution to the problem of all clocks before it – the ability to see the entire clock in the dark. Because of these illuminating effects, it was also designed to be a useful night light.

Many different versions of projector clocks now exist in the world. While the first projector clock may not have had a calendar or 8 different colored projections, if it wasn’t for Chih H. Pan’s wonderful creation, who knows where the world of projector clocks would be today?

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Karen Bennett
Last updated on June 28, 2019 by Karen Bennett

Karen Bennett lives in Chicago with her family, and when she’s not writing, she can usually be found practicing yoga or cheering on her kids at soccer games. She holds a master’s.degree in journalism and a bachelor’s in English, and her writing has been published in various local newspapers, as well as “The Cheat Sheet,” “Illinois Legal Times,” and “USA Today.” She has also written search engine news page headlines and worked as a product manager for a digital marketing company. Her expertise is in literature, nonfiction, textbooks, home products, kids' games and toys, hardware, teaching accessories, and art materials.

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