Updated September 20, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

The 6 Best Projection Clocks

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Do you ever find yourself looking up 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. As well as looking cool, these projection clocks may just ensure you don't show up late for work or miss an important appointment, as you'll find the time staring you right in the face as you lie in bed. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best projection clock on Amazon.

6. La Crosse Technology 616-146A

5. Oregon Scientific RM313

4. Electrohome EAAC601

3. Ambient Weather WS-8400

2. Vekey Wake Up

1. Mesqool MS-CR01

How Are Projection Clocks Best Used?

A clock with a 3 ft. diameter would take a lot of planning to hang over your mantelpiece.

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 3 ft. 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 5 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.

Consider a digital clock if the projection will be in a place you must check it often to be sure you are on time.

Secondly, 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. 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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Ezra Glenn
Last updated on September 20, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label operator from New York City. He has traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again. Ezra holds a bachelor's from Bard College, and is currently enrolled in the MBA program at UCLA's Anderson School of Management. His professional experience includes a stint at the Brooklyn-based website “Rap Genius,” and he has run his own artist management and development agency. For the Wiki, he has developed expertise in the areas of travel, exercise, and home goods, and has researched extensively in the areas of electronics, furniture, and pet care.


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