Tried & tested | IPL & Laser Reviews

Philips Lumea Essential review

A quick summary…

by | February 24, 2017

The Philips Lumea Essential is Philips most affordable at-home IPL device. It's a compact and more basic spec than the premium Prestige, but still with the same excellent build quality and materials. It's easy to use, comfortable to hold and provides several years of whole body treatments. It's a solid choice best suited to smaller body areas like underarms, bikini line, face and forearms but it's too slow on large areas like legs.

3.6 / 5

Face & small bits


Safe Fitzpatrick skin tones:

Hair colours it works on:

The Lumea Essential SC1983/00 has a 2.7cm2 treatment window and flashes every 3 seconds, great for treating smaller body areas.

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Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) hair removal slows and reduces hair regrowth after each treatment. Eventually hair stops growing and periodic use will keep you fuzz and stubble free. Learn more about how home IPL works here.

The mains-powered Lumea Essential is an older model at-home IPL from Philips, released in early 2016. It’s a classy bit of kit – tactile, robust and with a long ergonomic shape. There’s a long and supple power cable and enough flashes to last 10 years of monthly whole-body sessions. That’s more than enough to get to smooth and stay that way. The build quality is super, far better than most other no-frill models. You get a 2-year warranty too.

There’s just one multi-use flash window which is good for most body areas. It takes a little practise on your upper lip, but is easy enough once you know how. The skin tone sensor won’t flash if your skin is too dark, and you can choose from 5 IPL energy levels. The controls are clear and simple on the side of the device.

It’s very easy to use. After shaving your skin, select your intensity level and place the flash window on your skin and press the large flash button. Then slide it the height of the flash window to the next spot, and repeat. You can keep the flash button pressed for continuous flashes as you glide the falsh window along your skin.

The down side with the Essential is it’s slow to cover larger body areas like legs and your torso. that’s because the flash rate is quite slow, around 3 seconds between flashes on the highest intensity. So, it’s fine for small areas but if you want to zap your legs, choose a faster rival device. Check out my top recommendations here.

Philips advise you to use the Essential once every 2 weeks for 4 or 5 sessions. You should begin to notice the hair reduction results after your 3rd fortnightly treatment. Complete all 5 treatments over a total of 8 weeks to see significant results. Do less frequent monthly maintenance treatments to keep your skin smooth.

Lumea Essential Review Summary

The Lumea Essential is a great value basic model IPL. The build quality and materials are excellent and it’s comfy to use, but too slow for treating large areas like legs. So choose another device for your pins and whole body hair removal.

Philips Lumea Essential at-home IPL device reviewed by
Lamp lifetime


The flashes last 10+ years of monthly treatments. It’s super value.

Ease of use


Quality, mains-power and lightweight design, with a comfy ergonomic shape. Just one integrated flash window for all body areas. It’s slow to cover large areas like legs, so better for your face and smaller body areas. 

Effort & Results


Lovely & smooth after 4 to 5 sessions (1 every 2 weeks) plus top-ups every month or so to stay smooth.


  • Attractive price, usually under £200
  • Great durable build quality
  • Ergonomic shape and classy design
  • Won’t flash if your skin is too dark
  • Clinically-proven & CE certification


  • Slow to cover large areas like legs & torso
  • Power cord sometimes gets in the way
  • You must choose your intensity level
  • Suitable for light skin tones only
  • Not FDA-cleared in US

Philips Lumea Essential deals

When you shop via my links I earn a small commission (but your price stays the same). And I really appreciate your support 🙏!

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Laura Gladman
I'm a bit obsessed with at-home beauty devices. It's a habit I've had for around 9 years now. I love the science, testing and reviewing them, and sharing my experience and feedback on my site I'm also a crazy dog lady, and I don't care.

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