Philips Lumea Review 2017

Philips Lumea Review header

Philips Lumea is the newest line of Philips’ IPL hair removal systems and is proving exceptionally popular. Highly effective and suitable for a range of hair and skin colours, these are systems that will last for five to ten years and use the latest technology.

Philips Lumea ModelFeaturesOur RatingPrice
Philips Lumea Prestige SC2009
Prestige SC2009

  • For use on body, face, bikini

  • 15 minutes to treat lower legs

  • >250,000 lamp flashes

  • Cordless design



Top of the Range

Philips Lumea Prestige SC2008
Prestige SC2008

  • For use on body, face, bikini

  • 15 minutes to treat lower legs

  • >140,000 lamp flashes

  • Cordless design



Philips Lumea Prestige SC2007
Prestige SC2007

  • For use on body and face

  • 15 minutes to treat lower legs

  • >250,000 lamp flashes

  • Cordless design




Philips Lumea Prestige SC2006
Prestige SC2006

  • For use on body or face

  • 15 minutes to treat lower legs

  • >250,000 lamp flashes

  • Cordless design



Philips Lumea Prestige SC2005
Prestige SC2005

  • For use on body and face

  • 15 minutes to treat lower legs

  • >140,000 lamp flashes

  • Cordless design



Best Budget Lumea

Philips Lumea Advanced SC1997
Advanced SC1997

  • For use on body or face

  • 15 minutes to treat lower legs

  • >250,000 lamp flashes

  • Extra-long cord




Philips Lumea SC2009

Top of the range

Application Areas

  • Arms
  • Legs
  • Belly
  • Bikini
  • Underarms
  • Chin
  • Sideburns
  • Upper lip

Pros

  • Great life span with 250,000 flashes
  • Hands down best of the range

Cons

  • Pricey

The SC2009 has got it all; 250,000 flashes, body, bikini and facial attachment and it’s cordless. This one is a long-term winner for those who want to invest in a great IPL machine.

Philips Lumea SC2005

Best budget lumea

Application Areas

  • Arms
  • Legs
  • Belly
  • Bikini
  • Underarms
  • Chin
  • Sideburns
  • Upper lip

Pros

  • Great life span with 250,000 flashes
  • Best budget Philips IPL hair removal system

Cons

  • Not for use on the face

The SC2005 is great with just a couple of compromises. This has a body attachment but it lacks a bikini and face attachment. If you can overlook this then you can get yourself a bargain.

Philips Lumea Reviews

Philips Lumea Prestige SC2009/00 IPL Hair Removal System for Face, Body and Bikini

Philips SC2009

This Lumea IPL system is hands down the best of the range. It comes with everything you could possibly need to be smooth and hair-free and has an excellent lifetime of 250,000 flashes. Because you need to use it so rarely, the cost of this is spread over around ten years and it’ll save you so much time on top of that.

The SC2009/00 has a facial, body and bikini attachment and is cordless so it’s very easy to use anywhere. With 370 flashes available on a full charge, you hardly ever need to charge this and can take it with you on a long holiday without even needing the charger.

This is the best IPL system in the Philips Lumea range for those who want face, bikini, underarm and legs hair-free and who want as much value for their money as possible.

Philips Lumea SC2009 Full Review​

Philips Lumea Prestige SC2008/11 IPL Hair Removal System for Face, Body and Bikini

The SC2008/11 will appeal to those who want to try out IPL without a bigger price tag but still want to use the system on all areas. This system is a reasonable compromise because it comes with the bikini, face and body attachments but only has a lifespan of 140,000 flashes – that’s around four or five years.

Still cordless, this model is very easy to use and has a long life between battery charges. It’s a highly effective hair removal system and gives you the option to reassess your needs after the years are up – then you can decide to invest in a new IPL system or go back to more traditional hair removal methods.

Philips Lumea SC2008

Philips Lumea SC2008 Full Review​

Philips Lumea Prestige SC2007/00 IPL Hair Removal System for Face and Body

Philips Lumea SC2007

For those who want great value for money but don’t require the bikini attachment, this is the ideal IPL system for you. It’s cordless and convenient, with 370 flashes before charging and a 250,000 flash lifetime. This will see you beautifully hair-free for around ten years.

This model is actually a great price and if you’re looking for an IPL system on a budget and can do without the bikini attachment, then this is perfect. The face attachment deals with underarms too, meaning that you can do almost everything with this machine.

Philips Lumea SC2007 Full Review​

Philips Lumea Prestige SC2006/11 IPL Hair Removal System for Face and Body

If you don’t want the bikini attachment then you might be considering this but as it’s also cordless, you’re much better going for the SC2007, which is also cordless and lacks the bikini attachment but has 250,000 flashes instead of this 140,000.

Philips Lumea SC2006

Philips Lumea SC2006 Full Review​

Philips Lumea Prestige SC2005/00 IPL Hair Removal System for Body

Philips Lumea SC2005

This system is perfect for those who are really only interested in getting hair free legs and can forego the other attachments and the price tag that comes with them. This is highly effective for smooth legs and has 250,000 flashes during its lifetime so you’ll have summer-ready legs for around ten years, perhaps even more as you’re not using the flashes for any other parts of the body.

With 370 flashes between charges, this is super convenient, zero faff and just a plainly fantastic IPL system. The price is good and it has the same five light intensity settings as the other in the range so you can still choose the perfect setting for your skin and hair type.

This is probably one of the best budget IPL hair removal systems on the market for those who just want hair-free legs. This way, you can get all of Philips’ genius at a small price that’s spread over a decade.

Philips Lumea SC2005 Full Review​

Philips Lumea Advanced SC1997/00 IPL Hair Removal System for Face and Body

This SC1997 is a corded model with a facial attachment and a body attachment. It’s for those who still want Philips Lumea IPL technology and an efficient hair removal method but don’t want to spend as much as the cordless models cost.

With 250,000 flashes this device will still last for around ten years and both the precision facial attachment and the larger windowed body attachment are very good at their jobs. This unit comes with the same two modes and the same five settings as the others in the range and is best for those on a budget who can do without the bikini setting.

Philips Lumea SC1997

Philips Lumea Advanced SC1997 Full Review​

How IPL Works

How does IPL work?

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) sends flashes to hair follicles to send them into a resting phase. Both melanin in the hair and the hair root absorb the energy at the particular frequency and the follicle ceases to grow further hair. The remaining hair sheds and, after repeated treatments, won’t return.

Initially treatment should be every two to four weeks, phasing out hair until the areas you treat are smooth. From then you should be able to treat every four to six weeks to keep skin smooth and hair-free. The infrequency of treatment is a major bonus compared to hair removal methods such as shaving.

Who can use IPL?

Not everyone has the hair or skin type that is compatible with IPL and it’s absolutely crucial to consult the Philips Lumea skin and hair chart before buying or using a Lumea IPL system. While the systems are safe for those who fall within the usable section of the chart, it can cause damage to those who shouldn’t use it, such as pain and burning.

Luckily, Philips has produced an easy to use chart that allows you to not only see if you can use IPL systems at all, but, if you can, which of the Lumea light settings you should be using for your skin type. Every skin/hair combination with a cross means that unfortunately you do not have a skin or hair type compatible with the Lumea IPL systems.

Philips Skin Tone/Hair Colour Chart

Philips skin tone / hair colour chart

There are also a range of skin and health conditions that prevent people from using IPL systems such as diabetes, congestive heart failure and eczema. The list is pretty comprehensive and it’s very important that you take the time to read the list in full as well as the details on skin and hair type before using any IPL system.

You also cannot use it on sunburnt or recently tanned or fake tanned skin. The full information can be downloaded from here and is included in the user manual that the IPL machine comes with. However, you obviously want to find out if IPL systems are compatible with you before you buy one!

How does the Philips Lumea work?

The Philips Lumea systems have five light settings, making them available for use by anyone who has a compatible skin and hair type. This means that you can choose a light setting perfectly suited to your exact skin/hair combination as opposed to a generalised setting. This keeps the system not only effective, but safe too.

Windows and attachments

Philips Lumea Attachment

The system works by flashing the light through the window in each attachment and it’s one flash per section of skin. The windows on the body attachments in the Lumea range are 4cm wide, offering a good coverage area for each flash. This means that you can do easy areas like legs and stomach faster.

The facial and bikini attachments in the Lumea range have 2cm windows, which send the light to a more precise, targeted area. This is ideal for smaller areas and hard to reach areas such as upper lip and underarms.

The windows all contain UV filters with the facial attachment window containing further filters to protect the more fragile facial skin. Every step of the way Philips Lumea put in features that keep you completely safe.

The bikini attachment is specifically designed to cope with thicker, tougher hair – typical of this region. For this reason you should only use it in the bikini area, not as a facial attachment.

What modes does the Philips Lumea have?

Philips Lumea IPL systems have two modes to make hair removal faster and easier; this isn’t just an effective way to remove hair, it’s also really efficient.

Slide and Flash

The Slide and Flash mode is designed for the body attachment and speeds up treatment of straightforward sections. On Slide and Flash mode, the flashes will continue with a second or two in between. You simply hold the unit to your skin, wait for the flash, move it to the next section and wait for the flash again. As you can imagine, this is much easier for legs than if you had to press the flash each time.

Step and Flash

The Step and Flash (sometimes Stamp and Flash) mode is for smaller areas and hard-to-reach areas such as the underarms, upper lip, chin and bikini area. This puts you in control of the flashes so you can hold the unit to the skin, flash, then take your time to hold the unit to the next section of skin.


Safeguards are put in place with the Slide and Flash mode to ensure that you don’t accidentally flash your eyes. The device will only ever flash when it senses that it’s being held to skin and that it has skin contact will all parts of the safety ring around the window.

Treatment guidance

Philips Lumea being used on the face

Hair needs to be pre-treated before each IPL treatment but the pre-treatment required should lessen each time. The recommended method is shaving as this allows the light to reach the hair root more easily. Waxing and epilating are also possible but perhaps less effective and, in the case of waxing, Philips recommend that if you wax, you wax 24 hours before and shower in between to eradicate any traces of wax.

Some women may experience slight redness, warmth or tingling during the IPL treatment and, although this is harmless and normal, steps can be taken to reduce its impact on your day. Doing your IPL treatment before bed is a good way of allowing any redness to fade overnight and applying the flashes when skin is cool (i.e. not after a sauna for instance) means it should be more effective.

Any itching or redness can be calmed with a cold water soaked towel or a cool pack applied to the area. Philips recommend stretching the skin slightly during treatment as well to improve efficacy even more. Beginning IPL treatments in winter or spring will also ensure than you have smooth, hair-free skin by the most important time – summer!

Treatment time

Treatment time is fast and that’s what makes the Lumea system so convenient. Not only do you only have to use it around once a month, but also each treatment is quick and easy.

Everyone is obviously different and so the treatment times will vary slightly (depending on, y’know, how long your legs are for instance) but Philips have approximations for treatment times.

With times like this, once a month or even every six weeks, IPL is by far the easiest form of hair removal. Far less time consuming than shaving, epilating and waxing and really, far more effective.

Philips Lumea approximate application times

Application Area

Approx. Time

Full leg

15 min

Lower leg

8 min

Underarm

1 min

Bikini line

1 min

Face areas

1 min

Lifespan and battery life

Philips Lumea being used on an armpit

With nothing to replace, the IPL system is a complete package from day one. Either corded or rechargeable, it’s very easy to use and once you have one that’s it for its lifespan. Nothing lasts forever though and the Lumea IPL systems only have the capacity to perform a certain amount of flashes before becoming defunct and then requiring you to replace the entirety. It’s not as bad as it sounds though.

Each model in the Lumea range has around 370 flashes in it on a single charge of the battery. Considering you only use one flash per 4cm section of body and 2cm section of face, that’s a lot of flashes. That means that you can have many treatments before even needing to charge the device.

Further to that, they have a lifespan number of flashes. The SC2009, SC2007 and the SC2005 have a lifespan of an amazing 250,000 flashes which equates to around ten years of use. That means the cost of these systems are spread out over a really long time.

The SC2006 and SC2008 have lifespans of 140,000 flashes, which should last four to five years and these systems come in a bit cheaper, ideal for those who aren’t sure if they want to commit to the price of a long-life model.

Maintenance

While the Philips Lumea IPL systems are very easy to take care of, there is a tiny amount of maintenance required and that’s ensuring that the window is always clean. Skin and hair fragments will collect on the window, impairing the flash of light. After every treatment you should carefully clean the window with water or cleaning alcohol but it is a quick and easy process and there should be a cleaning cloth provided with most of the models.

Price

With Philips Lumea IPL systems costing in the hundreds, it can be off-putting to the newcomer who isn’t sure if they want to part with that much money. But these systems are more of an investment expenditure than, say, a really expensive pack of disposable razors.

While you could spend half the price of the expensive razors and get a cheaper pack that will technically do the same job, IPL systems are a one-off payment that will then last for up to 5 years or 10 years.

The price of waxing and shaving can really add up over the course of five years, even more so if you’re getting waxes every so often at salons. That money could go towards a highly effective IPL system, which isn’t painful or messy and will simply work for a long time.

The price differences amongst the Philips Lumea range are mainly based on lifespan, attachments included and whether it’s corded or cordless. Because the basic unit is the same in most models, this gives the customer a lot of freedom to choose the attachment combination and lifespan that suits them without having to weigh up lots of different features.

How to choose the right Philips Lumea for you

Philips Lumea on bikini line

Choosing the right Lumea for you shouldn’t be too much of a challenge as the differences are fairly basic and it depends on how you plan on using the system.

Body Attachments: All the Philips Lumea IPL systems come with body attachments; the 4cm windowed attachment that works great for areas like legs and stomach.

Facial Attachments: If you’re looking for a facial attachment then the SC2009/00, the SC2008/11, the SC2007/00, the SC2006/11 and the SC1997/00 all come with excellent facial attachments. Remember that facial attachments are also the best attachments for underarms, so if this is an area you want hair-free then one of these models is for you.

Bikini Attachments: If you’re looking for a bikini attachment then the choice is between the SC2009/00 and the SC2008/11. Both of these come with body and face attachments too, making them fantastic all-round IPL systems.

Corded or Cordless: All the SC20## models are cordless and this is really the most convenient option for everybody. It allows a greater range of movement without getting cords tangled or caught and because the systems need charging so infrequently, it’s really no hassle at all. When they do require charging, the charge time is only 100 minutes across the board. The SC1997/00 has a power cord and while it’s cheaper, this is only really for those with strict budgets.

Lifespan: This is probably one of the biggest decisions to make after the attachments because there are only really two lifespan options and they are very different. Hands down, it’s more economical to buy a model with 250,000 flashes in it because there are no 140,000 flash models that are half the price with the same attachments.

If you’re really trying to find short-term savings then you could choose a 140,000 flash model, which will last for around four or five years. These models are the SC2008/11 and the SC2006/00. The Lumea IPL systems are long-term items though and for less than twice the price (often much less than twice), you can get a unit that has double the lifespan, especially as the longer you use the device, the less you may have to use it.

Hands-down best all-rounder

Philips Lumea SC2009

The SC2009/00 has got it all; 250,000 flashes, body, bikini and facial attachment and it’s cordless. This one is a long-term winner for those who want to invest in a great IPL machine.

Read our review of the SC2009

Great for budgets

Philips Lumea SC2005

The SC2005 is great with just a couple of compromises. This has 250,000 flashes and a body attachment. It lacks a bikini and face attachment but if you can overlook those things then you can get yourself a bargain.

Read our review of the SC2005