Old IPL models

Philips Lumea SC2004/11 review

Philips Lumea SC2004/11 Laura G
Philips Lumea SC2004/11

4.0

This Lumea SC2004/11, released in 2013, is a wise choice if you want to defuzz your body parts. It has bags of positive customer reviews and because it’s an older model than the SC2006/11 (without the precision attachment), you can often pick it up for a bargain price too.

Philips recommends a treatment program lasting 6 to 8 weeks with fortnightly treatments, and then you’ll need top up treatments to maintain your results too. Check your skin tone and hair colouring are suitable before using.

The Philips Lumea SC2004/11 is awarded 4 stars for lifetime value. It gives you loads of flashes, way more than most of the competition. You’ll have enough flashes to get the smooth results you desire and to maintain them for a very long time. So you won’t need to dish out for expensive replacement bulbs. Just remember you must periodically charge the device (even if not in use) so that the battery keeps working for as long as the bulb lasts!

There’s another high 4 stars for ease of use too. It’s just what you would expect from Philips; a solid piece of kit, comfortable to hold and operate and giving quick treatment times. It has 5 energy levels and different treatment modes to get the best results possible.

Customers love the Philips Lumea range and the SC2004/11 is no exception. It scores a well-deserved 5 stars for customer reviews & results. Reviewers share some great feedback too. Read this section for an overview of the pros and cons.

When it comes to customer service & support, we haven’t found better. Philips impressed us with their thorough, friendly and knowledgeable support staff. They gave us great confidence in their service, support and products.

Keep reading for the full, in-depth Philips Lumea Sc2004/11 review.

Read reviews and buy the Philips Lumea SC2004/11 for body

 

The Philips Lumea Precision Plus Sc2004/11 is suitable for Fitzpatrick skin tones I to V. It’s not suitable or safe to use if you have skin tone type VI. Check the chart below.

Philips Lumea Precision Plus Sc2006/11 is suitable for skin tones white, beige, light brown, medium brown, dark brown, brownish black and darker

You can use the device on black, dark brown, brown and dark blonde hair, but it won’t work on light blonde, red, grey or white hair.

Philips say that optimal results are generally experienced after four or five fortnightly treatments, to remove all hair and to stop it growing back. They recommend top up treatments to keep you skin fuzz-free, spaced at every 4 to 8 weeks.

  • Minimum number of treatments: 4 or 5
  • Treatment intervals: Every 2 weeks
  • Minimum total time: 6 to 8 weeks
  • Top up frequency: 4 to 8 weeks
  • This is a guide only

The higher energy settings will give best results, and are suited to the lighter skin tones. You must select the appropriate energy level for your skin tone (read the user manual thoroughly before use).

Great lifetime value

So how long will the bulb last?

The Lumea Sc2004/11 has a very decent 100,000 flashes. It also has a very large  treatment window size of 4cm2, making the most out of each and every flash, so you’ll use fewer flashes to cover the treatment area.

The table below shows how many 10cm2 treatments you’ll get from the Philips Lumea SC2004/11.

“I’d suggest buying a reliable unit that costs a little more upfront over a slightly cheaper thing that requires purchases down the line just to continue using it.”
Amazon.co.uk review

 

Lumea SC2004/11
Bulb life (flashes) 100,000
Treatment window size 4 cm2
Flashes needed to treat 10cm2 25
Total 10 cm2 treatments you’ll get 4,000

 

Philips Lumea SC2006/11 front of box shot

Philips Lumea SC2006/11 front of box shot

You’ll need just 25 flashes to cover 10cm2, and you’ll get approximately 4,000 10cm2 treatments from the 100,000 flashes bulb. Philips says this will provide enough flashes for continuously smooth results for more than 5 years, when treating your underarms, bikini line and lower legs. The long life bulb is why Philips don’t sell expensive replacement bulbs with relatively fewer flashes.

We like the lifetime value you’ll get from this device. It’s enough to reach your optimum results and to then maintain these results for several years.

“As hair removal is never 100% permanent due to hormones and changes over time, I think this is an excellent investment as you can continue to use it at home. It saves time and money compared to salon IPL treatments :)”
Boots.com review

Read reviews and buy the Philips Lumea SC2004/11 for body

Read on to learn how easy the SC2004/11 is to use.

Very easy to use

“The gun is not heavy at all and is easy to grip. The gliding action works very well. The controls are placed such that you won’t accidentally change the setting or turn it off when using.”
Boots.com review

The Lumea Sc2004/11 is very easy to use. The user manual is thorough and there’s a handy quick start guide to use as a memory refresher for your next treatments. As a few users note, this is not a substitute for reading the full user manual before you start.

  • Basic Step & Flash mode and
    Slide & Flash for quicker treatments
  • 4 cm² body attachment 
  • Pulses every 3 seconds
  • Treat 10 cm2 in 1:15 mins
  • 14 mins to treat a full leg (user manual)
Philips Lumea SC2004/11 device

Philips Lumea SC2004/11 device

Users report that the cordless, handheld gun is comfortable and easy to use. They also report treatment times are relatively quick, thanks to the large 4cm2  treatment window. The device flashes every 3 seconds and so you can treat 10cm2 in around 1 and 1/4 minutes. According to the user manual you can treat a full leg in about 14 minutes, and with a bit of practise you probably can.

You can choose between 2 treatment modes:

  1. Step and flash for spot treatments and
  2. Slide and Flash, for covering larger areas, like legs, chest and back. You simply slide the device over your skin whilst keeping the button pressed.

“I like the cordless function, and it charges relatively quickly. In my experience, when fully charged, there is enough power to do both lower legs, bikini line, and underarms before charging again.” Amazon.co.uk review

The device is cordless so you have to charge it. Charging takes up to 1 hour 40 minutes, and gives 370 flashes on the highest energy level.  We like this because you won’t get tangled up in cords and you can sit wherever you like (away from a power socket). But you may not get a full body treated in one sitting, so think about doing treating a different body part on another day. Philips say one charge should allow you to treat your lower legs, bikini line and underarms.

Philips recommend charging your device at least once a month (even if you don’t need it that regularly) to keep the battery working efficiently.

Unlike other devices, the Lumea range doesn’t feature a skin tone sensor. This means you must read the manual carefully and as Philips say, start at the lowest setting and work up to what is comfortable. There are 5 energy levels where 1 is the lowest. The device is suitable for users with Fitzpatrick skin types 1 to 5, and the lower energy settings are suitable for darker skin. The device will always default to the lowest setting too.

Read reviews and buy the Philips Lumea SC2004/11 for body

Excellent results

We assessed 93 customer reviews and ratings on the web and found that 90% awarded 4 or 5 stars to the SC2004/11. That’s excellent feedback that means  confidence in the device is high.

Check out the table below to see the online ratings breakdown for the Lumea SC2004/11 as of April 2015.

1 star 2 star 3 star 4 star 5 star Total
1 1 7 38 46 93
1% 1% 8% 41% 49% 100%

To help you decide if this device is right for you,  you can see the most helpful feedback from the customer reviews below. First let’s look at the results and then the pros and cons of the device itself.

Hair removal results

It’s no surprise that the 4 and 5 star reviews (90% of users) all reported it did work for them for them.

Some users were delighted that they saw results after just a few treatments. They reported that their hair growth was “slowing and slowing and slowing” with use, hair was growing back finer and there was less of it. Many reviewers shared they shaved much less frequently as a result.

“Having now completed three treatments over a period of 6 weeks as directed, I can confirm a substantial reduction in hair re-growth of between 70 and 80 percent.The hairs which do grow back are weaker and thinner. In practical terms, I used to shave my legs every 5 days in summer and now I am doing it every fortnight with less regrowth than under my old five day cycle. Results will of course vary between different people and skin types, but for me this has been something of a revelation.”
Amazon.co.uk review

For other reviewers, the results took much longer to come, and so their feedback varied. Some thought the results were worth the effort and wait, whilst others strongly disagreed with “the ‘Fast results’ claim in the product description” . Some found the treatments almost “too boring and time consuming” to continue. It will largely depend on how much you crave the hair-free results. One reviewer states it’s “ultimately worth it if you can be patient for the results”.

“This 2 week cycle of shaving and IPL treatment can take a good 4-6 months to really show results, but you will get results, this system does work. As results take hold, you will need to shave much less and the hair will be very fine, eventually there will be no hair. The skin on the treated areas becomes very smooth and soft as the treatments begin to work”
Amazon.co.uk review

“Honestly it was so time consuming and im not sure i can be bothered to do this every 2 weeks,…The whole process to do both legs and some of my ladybits took 2 hours with all the faffing about, shaving takes me 5 minutes. I think it is overly time consuming but i am going to keep at it for a few more treatments and see if there is any difference.”
Amazon.co.uk review

The remaining 10% of users that gave lower ratings did so for other reasons than the device not working. One came from a reviewer who forgot to periodically charge their device so  it no longer worked, another who didn’t check if it was suitable for facial use, and one more who had an unsuitable skin tone and found the device hurt. 6 reviewers left 3 star reviews (as part of the Amazon Vine program) and noted they ideally needed longer than the allotted few-week trial period to leave a more helpful review.

We hope that they discovered the longer term benefits reported by this reviewer.

“I can now tell you that after two years of weekly (at the beginning), fortnightly (after six months), and monthly (after a year), that I am pretty much hair free…and I’ve used it almost everywhere!!!”
Amazon.co.uk review

Read reviews and buy the Philips Lumea SC2004/11 for body

Keep reading for a summary of the frequently mentioned pros and cons.

Frequently mentioned pros and cons

Pros

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Good quality and reasonably lightweight
  • There’s clear advice about who can and can’t use the device
  • Cordless, rechargeable handset so can be used anywhere
  • Shaving causes irritation and a stubble, waxing is torture, but this technique is painless
  • Just one investment cost, and no expensive activator gels or other parts required
  • Far less messy and more effective than waxing over the long term
  • Safety ring to avoid accidental flashes
Cons

  • Treatments are time consuming and boring
  • It takes some getting used to
  • Not all the conditions that could make it unsuitable for you are on the product box
  • It can’t be fixed out of warranty if you forget to charge it and the battery degrades!
  • It can be painful on bony parts such as my shins, as you need quite a bit of pressure before it will work
  • Quite expensive, although the longer term costs become less
  • You have to wait while you charge it up

Superb customer support

Philips offer a pretty standard 2 year warranty on the Lumea SC2006/11, and it’s true they don’t offer an extended money back guarantee period outside of the standard 28 days return policy. But we’ve awarded them 4.5 stars because their customer service and support really stands out from the rest.

 

  • Philips Warranty: 2 years
  • Money back guarantee: None
  • Customer service & support: Excellent

You can read about it in the Philips Lumea SC2006/11 review here. Don’t forget to check out the customer reviews and check prices for the SC2004/11 by clicking the button below.

Read reviews and buy the Philips Lumea SC2004/11 for body

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