The Philips Lumea Advanced is the mid-range spec, less costly cousin of the very desirable Lumea Prestige models. It has the same 15+ years lamp lifetime and a similar great gun-shaped design. It comes with specialist window attachments and all the expected safety features and treatment modes. It's a good choice for full body treatments (taking 14 mins per full leg). And a great choice for smaller areas like underarms, bikini line, tummy and face, because it's quick to cover these areas and the specialist attachments make it easier and more effective. User reviews love it too.
Who should buy it: It’s an above average choice because of the exceptional build quality, lamp lifetime and gun-shaped design. Consider it as a cheaper alternative to the Lumea Prestige.
Here’s how it scores.
What is it?
The Philips Lumea Advanced uses Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) that’s safe for use at home on the body and face. It slows and reduces hair regrowth after each treatment. Eventually your hair doesn’t grow back and periodic top ups are required less frequently to keep your skin smooth and hair-free.
The first model in the Advanced range launched in 2013. The models have CE certification to meet EU safety standards and are available in the UK, Europe and Australia. They don’t have FDA clearance and so aren’t available in the US.
You’ll need about 4 to 5 treatments (taking 8 weeks) to see significant hair reduction results. Follow this up with top up treatments to stay hair-free and smooth. The longer you’ve used it for should mean you need less and less frequent top-ups.
The Lumea Advanced range is the less costly cousin of the Lumea Prestige. Although it doesn’t have all the unique features of the Prestige (like the advanced skin tone sensor, cordless operation and curved window attachments), it’s still a fine, quality choice that will do the job and last for ages.
Please read my full review to learn more about the SC1999 and SC1997 and see what alternatives you could consider before buying.
In this full Philips Lumea Advanced SC1999 and SC1997 review:
- Is the Lumea Advanced good value for money?
- What’s it like to use?
- Are the treatment times quick?
- What’s the feedback from the online Lumea SC1999 reviews and SC1997 reviews?
- Philips Lumea SC1999 vs SC1997
- What alternatives should I consider?
- Pros and cons of the Philips Lumea Advanced
- Should I buy the Lumea Advanced SC1999 / SC1997?
- Where to buy
Is the Philips Lumea Advanced good value?
Yes. The latest Lumea Advanced models SC1997 and SC1999 are some of the best out there.
They both provide a minimum of 250,000 flashes. Combined with the 4 cm2 body treatment window that means you can treat a massive 1,000,000 cm2 total body area. This makes them a great choice for full body or large areas like back, torso or legs. You’ll get loads of treatments and be able to maintain your results for years to come.
1,000,000 cm2 provides over 200 full body treatments (full legs, bikini line, underarms and face). That’s enough for your initial treatment regimen and then 15 years of monthly top-up treatments so it’s a great investment.
The Lumea SC1999 and the SC1997 both offer excellent value for money and beat most other devices out there too. Just like their cordless cousins the Lumea Prestige, you could share it and still get several years of regular use.
N.B. 15 years of use is based on the bulb life only and doesn’t take into consideration general usage, wear and tear that effect how long the machine keeps working.
Is the Philips Lumea Advanced easy to use?
The Philips Lumea Advanced is packaged in a small neat deep pink box. It’s well designed with concise and clear key information shown on the outside. Simple icons note the key features, the safe skin tones and hair colours are shown, and the treatment windows you get with the model.
Inside, it’s all just as neat and well thought through. The device and attachments are protected in moulded plastic, the power cable, user manual, cleaning cloth and pouch below it. It mostly made of recyclable cardboard.
What’s in the box?
- Lumea Advanced gun-shaped device
- 4 cm2 body attachment
- 2 cm2 precision / facial attachment.
- 2 cm2 bikini area attachment (SC1999 only)
- Multi-voltage power adaptor and plug, approx 2 metres long
- Storage pouch and cleaning cloth
- User manual
The Philips Lumea Advanced wouldn’t look out of place in Captain Kirk’s hand on the set of Star Trek. It’s gun-shaped and about the size of a small hair dryer, with a playful, retro feel about it.
The handle and underside are white with a dusky rose-gold top and matching glossy trim. It looks feminine and sophisticated, neat and classy. And I like how the air vents on the top make a pretty flower pattern too.
To get fully acquainted with it read through the user manual.
Read the user manual
The user manual is clear and easy to follow. It runs through how IPL works, suitable skin tones and hair colours, the various bits of the device and attachments, care and cleaning, important guidelines about tanning, using the Lumea Advanced and troubleshooting problems.
Be sure to double check the list of contraindications for important reasons you should not use it (such as certain medical conditions, diseases and medications you are taking, tattoos, varicose veins and skin conditions).
As with all home laser and IPL devices it’s important to follow the guidelines on tanning and sun exposure. Philips advise you to stay out of the sun for 2 weeks before a treatment, and to avoid the sun and tanning for 48 hours after your treatment. You must cover up or use a sun screen SPF 30+ on your treated skin for 2 weeks after your treatments. These guidelines mean you should avoid tanning altogether during your initial treatment regimen. There’s more on tanning and sun exposure here.
Choose your intensity level and do a skin test first!
The Lumea SC1999 / SC1997 have 5 energy intensity levels and you need to choose one based on your skin type.
There’s a table in the manual to help you check your skin type based on your skin tone and how it reacts in the sun. For each skin type the manual recommends the maximum intensity levels you can safely use. It’s pretty simple to see which levels you can use.
Next, do a skin patch test at each of your suitable intensity levels, and on each body part you’re treating. If after 24 hours your skin is all good, you can use the highest level that was comfortable for your full treatment. Follow the instructions in the user manual.
There’s also the extra safety benefits of the integrated skin tone sensor. If the sensor detects a skin tone that is too dark it won’t flash. This is added reassurance for some, especially if you have different tones on different body parts or tan throughout the year. However, if this is a big concern, you’ll find other great devices are better suited to darker skin tones. There’s more on the skin tone sensor later.
It’s very simple to get started with the Lumea Advanced.
- Shave before your treatment and make sure you have clean and dry skin.
Shaving first is recommended but you can epilate or wax if you prefer, but wait for 24 hours after. This gives your skin enough time to rest and for the hair follicle to grow a bit so the IPL has something to target.
- Set yourself up. You’ll need to be near a power socket. Try using an extension cable so you can choose the most comfortable area, like your bed or close by to a mirror. Make sure you are in a well-lit room and the flashes won’t seem too bright.
- Plug it in and simply press the power button to cycle up through the intensity levels.
- Gently press the window to your skin and check your skin tone. Hold the device at a right angle so the flash window is completely against your skin.
- When the ‘ready’ light shows white on the back of the gun you can press the flash button.
- When finished, press and hold the power button for 2 seconds to switch it off.
I tested the Lumea Advanced on my legs, bikini line and face and this is how it went.
Great gun-shape design
The Lumea Advanced feels good to hold, not too heavy but not delicate or flimsy at all. The tapered handle provides a natural grip and my index finger rests easily on the trigger button. The power cord fits snug and secure in the bottom of the handle and is very long at around 192 cm.
Skin tone sensor and safety system
You get a skin tone sensor with both the Lumea SC1999 and Lumea SC1997. It checks your skin tone at the start and regularly throughout your treatment and if your skin is too dark the ‘flash’ light on the back of the device shows red and it stops flashing.
The sensor won’t tell you which intensity level to use, you still need to choose that yourself. But it’s a reassuring safety feature to have, especially if your skin is darker in places or you tan throughout the year. However, if you suspect your skin type is unsuitable you should try an alternative device.
Around the treatment window are contact sensors to prevent accidental flashes. If you don’t have full contact with your skin it won’t flash. This means holding the gun at a 90-degree angle to your skin to cover the contacts. I found it comfortable and easy to hold with just the right pressure against my skin.
Precision and bikini attachments
In addition to the 4 cm2 body window attachment, the Lumea SC1997 come with a 2 cm2 precision attachment. This has an additional filter so it’s gentle on more sensitive areas like the face. It’s also easier to position on bony and uneven surfaces than the larger body attachment. It’s helpful for toes, knees and ankles, but especially so on the upper lip and chin where you need to get even coverage and protect your lips too.
The Lumea SC1999 come with the 4 cm2 body window attachment, the 2 cm2 precision / facial attachment and there’s a 2 cm2 bikini attachment too. Bikini hair is coarser and more stubborn than other body hair and flashes in this area can sting a bit. Using a lower intensity level helps but this then has a lesser effect. Philips therefore designed a specialist bikini attachment. It has a special filter that makes it comfortable to use a higher more effective intensity level when compared to the body attachment.
Like all modern devices, the Lumea Advanced comes with 2 treatment modes; a stamping mode and a continuous flash mode.
- For Stamp & Flash you press and release the trigger for one flash, then re-position and repeat. It’s best for bits that need a bit more care.
- For Slide & Flash you keep the trigger pressed and after each flash slide it across your skin to the next position, and repeat. This is more comfortable for treating larger areas.
Both modes are easy to use. Between each flash, you need to move the attachment head with just the right amount of overlap so the flash window lines up with the previous position. It treats only skin directly in front of the flash window so it pays to concentrate and get this right for the best coverage. It’s easy once you get the hang of it.
The ‘Slide & Flash’ mode was good for treating my legs. I had to wait a few seconds between flashes, but it’s easy to get into a good rhythm – just wait for the flash, slide along, ‘flash’ then slide, ‘flash’ etc. Without it, treating my entire legs with Stamp & Flash mode would be very tedious!
The tricky bits
Reaching some areas is tricky, like the backs of your knees and upper legs, and involves twisting and turning in front of a mirror. The gun-shape helps because it provides great grip and extra reach when I needed it. The power-cord didn’t cause any notable problems either. It’s long enough and easy to work with once you find the best way to reach all the necessary areas.
- Use an extension cable in front of a full-length mirror so you can use all the power-cord to manoeuvre around your body
- I prefer holding the device sidewards and working in rings around the contour of my legs. That way it’s easier to keep track of where I’ve flashed.
So how quick are the treatments?
How quick are the treatments?
The Lumea Advanced has a very large 4 cm2 body treatment window and it takes up to 3.5 seconds between flashes. This means it can cover 120 cm2 (a pair of underarms) in about 1:45 mins.
This matches the older cordless Philips Prestige Sc2009 / Sc2007 models and compared to other devices these times are good.
Philips advise it takes about 14 mins per full leg. That’s about right. It took around 30 mins for 2 full legs on level 4, using the precision attachment on knees, ankles and toes. The flash rate is slowest on the higher intensity levels so, although it is most effective on the higher levels, you can compromise and use a lower level if time is short.
According to the user manual, the total time to treat full legs, bikini line, armpits and face is 36 minutes. Realistically it was over an hour for me. It got uncomfortable and dull towards the end too. Read on for a helpful full body treatment tip.
A tip for full body treatments
The Lumea Advanced models are mains-powered. This means there’s no battery to charge so you can treat as much of your body as you want in one sitting. However, it takes time and it does get tiresome after a while.
Finding a helpful assistant is the ideal scenario here. It’s more efficient and much more comfortable – for you at least! But if you have to go it alone, try splitting your treatments into 2 sessions, lasting around 30 mins each. Full legs in one session and bikini line, armpits, face etc in another. This way you can concentrate on getting the best coverage possible, and not on how long it is taking. It’s all about the smooth skin results after all!
If you want something faster, choices are available from Philips, Smoothskin and Braun where you can treat a full leg in under 10 mins. Keep reading to the alternatives section below for more information.
What do the online reviews say?
The overall score is an impressive and reassuring 4.5 stars from the collated online Philips Lumea Advanced SC1999 reviews and SC1997 reviews.
First up, let’s cover off what the reviewers don’t like.
The bad bits
There’s not much to say here. There aren’t any low 1 or 2 star ratings. A few neutral 3 star ratings came from people who were unsuitable to use it and couple more who hadn’t or were just about to start using it.
The bulk of reviewers left 4 or 5 star ratings.
The best bits
Loads of online reviewers love that the treatments are painless, straightforward and easy. Some comment that the treatments are quick, and others that they are time-consuming. This obviously depends on where it’s being used and the reviewers’ expectations.
They love the lightweight and comfortable to hold gun, and only a few reviewers think a cordless design would be better. In fact, many reviewers specifically say they chose the Lumea Advanced because it is corded and not battery-powered. They prefer a mains-powered operation so they don’t need to worry about the battery running out during their treatment.
A few mention it takes time to get the intensity level right on different body areas. They suggest simply starting on a lower level and moving up to a level that is comfortable. They report great results too.
The regimen is a treatment every 2 weeks for the first 4 to 5 treatments, so that’ll take 8 weeks to complete. After treatments 2 and 3 you should start to notice some reduction, and after treatments 4 to 5 the reduction should be significant. Follow this with regular top ups at 4 to 8 weeks, or when you see hairs growing back. This guide is realistic based on online feedback.
For some it took just a few treatments to see softer, slower and patchy hair regrowth. Many needed to shave only just before their next treatment, and then eventually didn’t need to at all. Best results come once the regimen is complete, and periodic top up treatments keep skin hair-free and smooth.
The reassuring online reviews love the Lumea Advanced. But is one model better than the other?
Philips Lumea SC1999 vs the SC1997
Both models have the same excellent design, features and performance. The only difference is the specialist bikini attachment, and higher price tag, that comes with the Lumea SC1999.
Think of the bikini attachment as an optional extra. It’s designed to be more comfortable and effective than the body attachment. But it’s still safe to use the body attachment or the precision attachment on the bikini area.
So how much extra cash is it worth? Well, the suggested RRP for the SC1999 is £350 and for the SC1997 it’s £300. Anything more than £50 difference is, in my opinion, hard to justify the benefit of the bikini attachment with the SC1999. Only you can decide if you need the extra attachment and what you are willing to pay.
What are the alternatives?
The Lumea Advanced is an above average mid-range choice. And I think the closest alternatives to consider are actually premium models; the latest Lumea Prestige, Smoothskin Gold and Braun IPL. They’re all suitable for full body and face treatments.
N.B. I recommend the Smoothskin Gold and Braun IPL for full body treatments if you live in the USA where the Lumea Advanced and Prestige is not yet available. (Unfortunately, there’s no confirmed date for availability).
First, I compare the Lumea Advanced to the Lumea Prestige, and second to the Smoothskin Gold and Braun IPL. Then I make my recommendation based on the comparison.
Lumea Advanced SC1999 / SC1997 vs Lumea Prestige BRI956
Both are great choices from Philips. Both will last for 200+ / 15+ years of full body treatments, have exceptional build quality and get great results. However, the Lumea Prestige is the flagship, premium model with a better specification, and a higher price tag. It’s packed with unique features unmatched by any other brand.
Here’s an overview of the Lumea Prestige additional features:
- The Lumea Prestige is safe for all but the darkest skin tones (I to V) vs the Advanced which is suitable up to medium dark skin tones (I to IV)
- Both have a skin tone sensor and won’t flash if your skin is too dark. But the the BRI956 will check and recommend the best intensity level for your skin. You can then manually lower it if necessary to find the perfect level
- The Prestige BRI956 and Lumea Advanced both work on mains-power but the Prestige also works cordless for harder to reach areas. So you can choose which is most convenient
- Both have specialist treatment windows but with the BRI956 they’re curved to match the contours of each body area. So it’s much easier to position and cover your skin. The Advanced SC1997 comes with 2 and the SC1999 with 3 flat treatment windows
- The BRI956 is also much faster than the Advanced (when used corded). It will cover a full leg in around 7 mins, vs 14 mins with the Advanced
The premium spec of the Lumea Prestige BRI956 and BRI950 make it my Overall best buy home IPL device.
Their Recommended Retail Price (RRP) is £520 to £575. That’s versus RRP £350 to £385 for the Advanced. The premium features make it expensive, so if they don’t matter to you so much or they’re out of your price range, don’t worry. The Advanced is a fine mid-range choice that’s great value. Plenty of online reviewers choose it specifically because it’s the less expensive cousin of the Lumea Prestige and a quality choice from Philips.
Keep reading the comparison to see which I recommend.
Lumea Advanced vs the Smoothskin Gold and Braun Silk expert
Cyden Ltd manufacture both the Smoothskin Gold and Braun IPL, so you can be sure they give the same great results and performance. They’re safe for all but the darkest skin tones too (I to V), whereas the Lumea Advanced is suitable up to medium-dark skin tones (I to IV).
Here’s my comparison round up of the 3.
For lamp lifetime value they’re all similar. The Lumea Advanced models have a long lamp lifetime lasting 15+ years (Philips say up to 20). The Braun IPL has a lamp lifetime of 15+ years and the SS Gold has different models lasting 10 and 15+ years (reflected in the price). All of these are excellent and far superior to most other brands, such as Remington and LumaRX. Check the prices of each to see which is offering the best value.
Ease of use
The Smoothskin Gold and Braun IPL are almost identical in shape and operation, but although ergonomic, they aren’t as intuitive or as comfortable as the Lumea Advanced’s gun-shape. Also, they have a single, medium-size, flat 3 cm² treatment window which does the job, but I do like the precision and bikini attachments that come with the Advanced.
All the devices have a skin tone sensor that stop the flashes if your skin tone is too dark. However, the Smoothskin Gold and Braun IPL are more advanced. They check your skin and then select the best, most balanced intensity for your skin tone. And they do it before every flash, so it’s great if your skin tone varies by body area. It makes for straight-forward, foolproof treatments.
But if this feature doesn’t matter so much to you, you can simply reduce your intensity level as needed with the Lumea Advanced.
Speed of Application
The biggest difference between the devices is the speed of treatments.
You can finish a full leg in around 14 mins with the Lumea Advanced. This is good but the Smoothskin Gold and Braun IPL have it beaten. With a much quicker flash repetition rate, you can finish a full leg from around 8:30 mins. This may be enough to sway you from the Lumea Advanced especially if you are treating your full body. But it won’t be so noticeable on smaller body areas.
The deciding factor may be price. The Braun IPL Recommended Retail Price (RRP) is £399, the Smoothskin Gold RRP is £299 to £399. The Lumea Advanced RRP is £325 to £385. They’re all in the same range. Offers are common for all devices and you may find all for under £300. So check to see which is in budget from the retailers in your country to help make your choice.
Lumea Advanced vs Lumea Prestige BRI956 and Braun IPL comparison table
The table below shows the comparison specification of the Lumea Advanced, the new Lumea Prestige BRI956 and Braun IPL. The SS Gold has an almost identical specification to the Braun IPL so it’s not duplicated in the table below.
|Philips Lumea Advanced |
SC1999 and SC1997
|Philips Lumea Prestige|
|Braun Silk Expert IPL
IPL 5001, BD 5009, BD 5008
|Lamp Lifetime||Lamp Lifetime||Lamp Lifetime
So which should you choose?
I think the Lumea Advanced is a great choice, especially for treating smaller areas like your bikini line, underarms, tummy, forearms and face. That’s because of the specialist bikini and facial / precision treatment windows. And because the slower speed of application isn’t as big a deal on these smaller areas versus on torso and full legs.
It’s also a good choice for treating your full body. You’ll get years and years of use, the distinct gun-shape is very comfortable and the specialist treatment windows are an added bonus. If you split up your treatments across days you won’t notice the slower speed of application too.
The SS Gold, Braun IPL and Lumea Prestige are premium choices and the best available for treating your full body and face. The advanced skin tone sensor and fast treatments of the SS Gold and Braun Silk expert make for foolproof treatments and so they win my Best Buy award for fast, safe and simple treatments. The Lumea Prestige BRI956 has some unique extras that make it my Overall Best home IPL hair removal choice.
But it’s a tough choice. All devices are rated 4+ stars by online reviewers. Price may be the deciding factor for you. If the Lumea Advanced is much cheaper and in budget, go for it. But check the prices of each before you buy because they fluctuate and offers are common.
If it’s available where you live, and you find the Lumea Prestige BRI956 affordably matched to the Advanced, I strongly recommend it. If they’re not available where you live, then look for the SS Gold and Braun Silk expert IPL.
Below are links to my in-depth reviews where you can also check online prices to help you decide.
- Read Smoothskin Gold review
- Read Braun Silk Expert IPL review
- Read the Philips Lumea Prestige BRI956 review
Here’s a quick recap of the pros and cons discussed in this Philips Lumea Advanced review.
- Great premium and durable build quality
- More than enough treatments for 15+ years of use
- Attractive retro gun-shaped design
- All the safety and treatment features you’d expect
- Integrated skin tone sensor
- Integrated UV filter
- CE mark (EU declaration of conformity to meet safety requirements)
- Precision attachment makes it easy to treat the face and areas like knees and ankles
- Specialist bikini attachment to stop stinging treatments (Lumea SC1999)
- Very easy to operate and comfortable to use
- It’s mains-powered with a long cord, so simply plug in and go
- Online reviewers love it
- Excellent reputation and customer service from Philips
- Just above average treatment times and faster devices are available
- Power cord can get in the way
- Skin tone sensor doesn’t select your intensity level
- Not suitable for as broad a skin tone range
Should I buy the Philips Lumea Advanced?
Yes. If your skin type is safely within the suitable range (I to IV) and you don’t demand a cordless design, I think it’s a very strong mid-range choice. It looks pretty too.
You get more than enough treatments and a very high specification with just above average treatment times, all the expected safety features, extra attachments and great online feedback. It’s great for treating smaller areas like bikini line, underarms, tummy, forearms and face. It’s good for full body treatments, but if you want something with the fastest application times be sure to check the alternatives above.
Loads of reviewers choose the Lumea Advanced precisely because it’s the less costly cousin of the very desirable Lumea Prestige models. Be sure to compare prices first.
You can check prices or buy the Lumea Advanced using the links below.
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|Philips Lumea Advanced SC1999, for face, body and bikini|
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All with Philips Lumea 100 day money back guarantee.
|Philips Lumea Advanced SC1997, for face and body
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Still not sure? Check out my recommended Best Buy home laser and IPL hair removal machines here