IPL Reviews, WABB Recommends

Philips Lumea SC2009 review & SC2007; cordless design

Philips Lumea SC2009 Laura G
Philips Lumea SC2009

4.5

If you're considering the Lumea SC2009 / SC2007 for full body treatments and taming your ladytache, then it’s a sound choice. No tangles with the cordless operation and the great gun-shape design make it comfortable to hold and easy to position. There's way more flashes than you'll ever need and specialist treatment windows to get the fastest possible results. Reviewers love it, but it does have a few negatives you can learn about in this in-depth Philips Lumea SC2009/SC2007 review.

Who should buy it: for full body and face treatments if you want exceptional build quality and cordless operation, and are prepared to compromise with the average application speed.

Here’s how it scores 4.5 stars overall:

Lamp lifetime
More flashes than you’ll ever need (250,000), lasting 15+ years of use. It’s one of the best.
Ease of use
Intuitive and comfortable gun-shape but the rechargeable battery needs care even when you don’t use it.
Speed of application
The flash rate is up to 3.5 seconds on the highest intensity so a full leg takes around 14 mins.
Support
Expertly, trusted and prompt advice, helpful treatment calendar and ‘how to’ App
Feedback & results
Lots of positive feedback and hair-free results, some negative reports you can’t finish a full body from one charge.
Budget range: £££ to ££££
Great quality build and premium feel accounts for the high price.

There’s a newer version called Philips Lumea Prestige BRI956
And it’s even better than the SC2009! Read the review to learn why, and see how it compares to the SC2009.

Philips-Lumea-BRI956-review-thumb

What is it?

Fitzpatrick skin tone chart showing it's unsafe on the darkest skin type VI. Hair colour chart shows it won't work in light blonde, grey and white hair.

You can use it on black, dark brown, brown, dark blonde hair and light to medium dark skin tones (Fitzpatrick skin types I to V).
You can’t use it on light blonde, red, grey or white hair and brownish black and darker skin tones (Fitzpatrick skin type VI), or on freckles and moles.

The Lumea SC2009 / SC2007 uses Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) technology that’s safe for use at home on body and face. The IPL treatments slow and eventually stop hair regrowth, so you can have continuously silky smooth skin with continuous but periodic use.

It has EU CE clearance and is readily available in the UK and Europe, the SC2009 is also available in Australia. This Philips range doesn’t have FDA clearance so unfortunately you can’t buy it in the US.

You’ll need about 4 to 5 treatments (taking 8 weeks) to see significant hair reduction results. Then you’ll need less frequent maintenance treatments to keep your skin smooth. The majority of feedback from online reviews matches this guide.

First available in 2015, this chic premium device from Philips commands a higher price tag and still scores big for many reasons. Mostly I love the unique cordless gun-shaped design, the helpful specialist attachments and there’s more flashes than you’ll ever need. It’s robust, ergonomic and oozes quality. It just feels great to hold!

But it’s not perfect and may not be for everyone, so keep reading to learn all!

In this full Philips Lumea SC2009 review:

My detailed step-by-step account tells you what it’s like to use,  how to decide between the Philips Lumea SC2007 vs Lumea SC2009, possible alternatives you should consider, my summary pros and cons and final recommendation.

Quick check specification

This summary overview helps you check the lamp lifetime, speed, safety and treatment features of the SC2009. It’s all described in much more detail in the rest of my in-depth Philips Lumea SC2009 review.

Lumea SC2009 & SC2007

  • Safe for body & face
  • Cordless use
  • Manufactured by Philips
  • CE Certified (meets EU standards)
  • Available in UK, Europe and Australia
  • 2 year warranty
  • Lumea SC2007 price: £££
  • Lumea SC2009 price: ££££

Lamp lifetime & speed

  • Treat a total body area of 1,000,000 cm2
  • 200+ fully body applications lasts 15+ years
  • Up to 3.5 seconds between flashes
  • Underarms take 1:45 minutes
  • A full leg takes 14 minutes

Safety

  • Prevents accidental flashes
  • Integrated UV filter
  • Suitable for skin tones I to V
  • No skin tone sensor

Treatments

  • Body & face
  • Black to dark blonde hair
  • Cordless
  • 5 intensity levels
  • Stamp & continuous flash mode
  • 8 week start-up phase (5 treatments)
  • body attachment (4 cm²)
  • facial attachment (2 cm²)
  • bikini attachment (2 cm²) SC2009 only

Read on to learn more about the lamp lifetime of the SC2009 and how it compares to other choices.

Is the Lumea SC2009 good value?

Yes. It’s one of the best.

Bar chart that shows the Philips Lumea Prestige devices provides the best value.

250,000 flashes combined with the 4 cm2 body treatment window means you can treat a total body area of 1,000,000 cm2, or 200+ full body treatments for 15 years of use. That’s likely more than you’ll ever need. It’s exceptional value and it tops the chart.

 

The bulb from both devices provides a minimum of 250,000 flashes. Combined with the 4 cm2 body treatment window that means you can treat a humongous total body area of up to 1,000,000 cm2. That equals a massive amount of hairy areas made smooth, and kept that way for years to come.

From the total 1,000,000 cm you’d get over 200 full body treatments (full legs, bikini line, underarms and face). That’s enough to last over 15 years of monthly top-up treatments. Wow.

It’s an excellent choice, especially for treating your full body or large areas like back, torso and legs. It’s so good, you could share it and still get years and 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, battery care and wear and tear that effect how long the machine keeps working.

What’s it like to use?

The cordless Lumea Prestige looks cool, like a futuristic ray-gun, and it feels great in your hand too, solid and heavier than expected. It all contributes to the premium and expensive-feeling quality.

The cordless Lumea SC2009 looks cool, like a futuristic ray-gun, and it feels great in your hand too, solid and heavier than expected. It all contributes to the premium and expensive-feeling quality.

This thing looks cool. It’s like some futuristic ray-gun, cast in a unisex, matt-metallic silver and white.

And it feels good too.

It doesn’t have that hollow, flimsy, plastic feel of other devices. It feels solid and heavier than expected in your hand. It’s cordless, so the weight comes from the in-built lithium battery. It takes about  1 hour 40 mins to charge it before first use. That’s ample time to read through the user manual.

First read the user manual

The manual is clearly laid out and easy to follow. It teaches you all about the device, how IPL works, which skin tones and hair colours are suitable, how to choose an energy level for your skin tone, your skin sensitivity test, how to operate it, and troubleshooting advice.

It’s important to check the list of medical conditions, medicines and diseases that mean you can’t use IPL. Other things, such as tattoos, implants, moles and freckles also make you unsuitable so be sure to check all the ‘Contraindications’ section.

First up is choosing the right energy intensity level.

Choose your energy intensity level and do a skin sensitivity test!

The user manual provides a helpful guide and makes it simple to select the best of the 5 energy intensity levels for your skin type.

The user manual provides a helpful guide and makes it simple to select the best of the 5 energy intensity levels for your skin type.

The’re 5 light intensity levels to choose from depending on your skin type. It’s your skin tone and how well it tans that determines your skin type. The table guide in the manual is really easy to follow and I had no problem working out I’m a skin type II or III and can use level 4 or 5.

Would a skin tone sensor make it easier?

I think a skin tone sensor that tells if your skin is suitable is added reassurance, especially if you are nervous about IPL. But only a few devices have advanced skin tone sensors that suggest or select the optimum intensity level for you. The newer Lumea BRI956 is one. And if you have darker skin and aren’t sure it’s right for you, there are alternative choices designed for use on all skin tones.

Read more on suitable skin types and hair colours >>

The user manual recommends intensity levels by skin tone type. Don’t forget to do a skin sensitivity test at each recommended level (and on each treatment area). If after 24 hours there’s no reaction, continue with your full treatment at the highest level that is comfortable.

Getting started

It’s really simple to get started.

  1. Shower and shave your treatment area.
    You can epilate or wax if you prefer, but wait for 24 hours after. This gives enough time for the hair follicle to grow a bit so the IPL has something to target.
  2. Set yourself up where you’ll be comfortable and uninterrupted. Try a bed or sofa, and a large, full-length mirror is a good idea for armpits and backs or legs.
  3. Turn-on the fully charged device and select your energy intensity level using the arrow up / down button.
  4. Hold the device at a right angle to your skin so the treatment window and safety ring are in full contact. Press down, but not too hard.
  5. A green ‘ready’ light will flash on the back of the device. Press the trigger button to flash.

The flashes are bright but harmless to the eyes so make sure you’re in a well-lit room (so they won’t seem so intense) and don’t look directly at the flashes. On the highest level 5, and on my pasty skin, the flash felt just slightly warm.

Off I went. Here’s what I found.

Great gun-shape design

The gun-shape makes a lot of sense and gets top marks. First, because it’s comfortable to hold, easy to grip and the trigger button is right where it should be. It’s comfortable and easy to press at any angle.

The Philips Lumea Prestige SC2007 and SC2009 have a great gun-shape design that’s comfortable to hold, easy to grip and the trigger button is right where it should be.

The Philips Lumea SC2007 and SC2009 have a great gun-shape design that’s comfortable to hold, easy to grip and the trigger button is right where it should be.

 

The safety ring: a ridge of 8 small buttons around the edge of the flash window.

The ridge of 8 small buttons around the flash window is clearly visible and makes it easy to position so getting good coverage.

Second, because you can clearly see the safety ring at the end. The safety ring is a ridge of 8 small buttons around the treatment window. Each must be pressed in before it will flash. Because the safety ring outlines the flash window, it’s easy to see where to overlap each flash, so getting the best coverage.

The weight of it also gives the safety ring good contact against the skin without having to press too hard.

2 standard treatment modes

The 2 treatment modes are easy to get the hang of. Both are standard on home IPL devices nowadays. There’s a stamping mode (called ‘Stamp & Flash’) and a continuous flash mode (‘Slide & Flash’).  For my legs, I really liked the ‘Slide & Flash’ mode. With the trigger pressed down, and as long as you have full contact with your skin, the SC2007 continues to flash every 3 or so seconds.  So it’s easy to get into a good rhythm – just wait for the flash, slide along, flash, slide etc.  It feels much less tedious than Stamp & Flash mode.

Great for tricky bits

The smaller 2 cm2 precision attachment is perfect for getting good contact on awkward and uneven areas like knees, ankles and shins. It’s also perfect where you need greater accuracy and for smaller areas like the upper lip.

The smaller 2 cm2 precision attachment is perfect for getting good contact on awkward and uneven areas like knees, ankles and shins. It’s also perfect where you need greater accuracy and for smaller areas like the upper lip.

Some areas of the body are tricky and hard to reach, like the backs of your knees and upper legs. Using a mirror helps but you can’t avoid the inevitable twisting and turning to reach them. Again the gun-shape provides great manoeuvrability and visibility but this is where I really appreciated the freedom of the no-tangles cordless design.

It’s also awkward to position the big 4cm2 body attachment on curvy knees, tops of shins and bony ankles. This is where the smaller 2 cm2 precision attachment is the perfect tool to get the job done quickly.  It’s simple to swap, and the little buttons on the safety ring help to get a good fit around awkward contours.

The precision attachment is also excellent for the upper lip because using the safety ring I can confidently position it next to my lips knowing they are protected from the IPL.

Tip: Keeping track of the bits I’d flashed on my legs was not so easy! I started out working in strips up and down my lower legs, just as the manual and videos show. But, as the contour of my leg changed, it was impossible to work in neat, straight lines and get thorough coverage. I preferred holding the SC2007 sidewards, working in rings around my legs. I actually found this more comfortable and much easier to keep track of where I was so not to miss bits.

How quick are the treatments?

It’s about average. It has a very large 4 cm2 body treatment window and it takes up to 3.5 seconds between flashes. This means it covers 120 cm2 (a pair of armpits) in max. 1:45 mins.

Treatment times are ok. The flashes could be quicker when using the glide mode, but mostly and especially on more awkward areas (like knees and ankles) it is ok.

Philips advise it takes about 14 mins per full leg. In fact, it took around 35 mins to complete 2 full legs using the precision attachment on knees and ankles. As other online reviews suggest, practise makes perfect. But I wouldn’t suggest treating your full body in one session. It wouldn’t be quick or very much fun.

TIP: If you know you’ll find it difficult to dedicate time and commit to your treatments, please check out the faster alternatives suggested towards the end of this review.

Tips for full body treatments

For your full body, split your treatments into multiple sessions on different days. This way each session isn’t too tiring and boring and you can finish each session on a single charge. Recharge the SC2007 ready for the next session.

For your full body, split your treatments into multiple sessions on different days. This way each session isn’t too tiring and boring and you can finish each session on a single charge. Recharge the SC2007 ready for the next session.

It’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it, but it does take concentration to get good coverage. For this reason, and following advice from other reviewers, I split my treatments into two sessions on different days; full legs first, followed by tummy, bikini line, armpits and face. Each session took roughly 30 minutes and I’m glad I did this for 2 good reasons:

  1. I have a short attention span, but each session wasn’t too tiring and ended before I got bored
  2. Some online reviewers hated that they couldn’t finish all the areas they wanted to treat on a single charge. I was able to finish each session on a single battery charge and then recharge it ready for the next one.

I’d recommend this approach if you want to do full body treatments. Using it in this way made best use of the cordless operation so the Lumea SC2007 was really simple and very comfortable to use.

So what do online reviewers think of the SC2007 and SC2009?

What do the online Philips Lumea Sc2009 reviews say?

The overall score is an impressive and reassuring 4.4 stars. This is collated from all the online Philips Lumea SC2009 reviews and SC2007 reviews.

User score 4.4 stars

On to the the negative feedback first.

The bad bits

Low-rated reviews include a handful of very disappointed reviewers who had little or no results after using the device from 10 treatments (8 weeks) and up to more than 1 year. The’re also a few faults (covered by warranty) and some reviewers with fair hair or health restrictions and were unsuitable to use the device.

The cordless battery operation is the topic of a few low ratings, so it’s important to understand the pros and cons before you buy. Whilst some loved the freedom of movement, others found annoyance when they couldn’t complete a full treatment from one charge. You’ll need to take care of the battery too because, just like other portable devices such as laptops, it will degrade over time. To prolong the life, you must remember to charge it every couple of months even if you don’t use it.

Tip: split treatments into shorter sessions and simply charge after every use so it’s ready for the next treatment or top up.

The better and best bits

Amazon Vine reviewers, who receive a freebie in exchange for a review after 30 days, make up a large number of neutral ratings. Several left 3-star reviews because they needed longer to see results and others (who had no real interest in the first place) simply preferred shaving or waxing.

Amazon Vine reviewers make up a good chunk of the positive ratings also. Several loved the design quality and easy, pain-free treatments but hadn’t seen big results within the 30 days. But many did see promising results during this time.

You’re advised to use the device every 2 weeks for the first 4 to 5 treatments (that’ll take 8 weeks to complete). Then follow that with regular top ups at 4 to 8 weeks, or when you see hairs growing back. This is realistic based on online feedback.

user-rating-4-4Loads of reviewers were very happy with their results. Early reports tell of slower and softer regrowth, hair-free patches and needing to shave much less frequently.  One reviewer said her ‘armpits have gone from needing a shave everyday to once a week!’

Some saw changes after the first few treatments and others took longer. A few reviewers even treated just one leg to compare the results! Reviews left after several months reported the best results with smooth, healthy hair-free skin needing only an occasional top up treatment.

Online reviewers loved both the SC2007 and the SC2009 – but is one better than the other? Read on.

Lumea SC2007 vs SC2009

So what are the differences between the SC2007 vs Sc2009 models?

Both are top-notch and identical except for 2 things; the specialist bikini attachment and higher price tag both with the Lumea SC2009. So, is the bikini attachment worth the extra cash?

The Sc2009 comes with a specialist bikini attachment that’s designed to be more effective on bikini line hair than the body attachment. You’ll need to decide if this warrants the extra cost of the SC2009 over the SC2007.

The Sc2009 comes with a specialist bikini attachment that’s designed to be more effective on bikini line hair than the body attachment. You’ll need to decide if this warrants the extra cost over the SC2007.

Stubborn bikini line?

Some people report that, in this area, the flashes smart somewhat. Philips suggest the extra attachment should help with that. Being smaller it’s more accurate to position and it has a filter designed especially for the coarser more stubborn hairs. The filter lets you use a higher intensity level than you may otherwise be able to bear with just the body attachment. The idea is it’ll be more comfortable and effective than the standard body attachment.

Now, Philips price the SC2009 at £500, that’s £50 more expensive than the SC2007. But the actual sale cost varies. At the time of writing the SC2009 is £100 more than the SC2007. Personally, I don’t think it’s worth that much more, especially as the bikini attachment costs just £12 on the Philips website. (N.B. Unfortunately it’s not compatible with the SC2007 model)

The bikini attachment is a great added extra, especially if you find treatments sting in this area or you’ve had slow results. But in my opinion it’s only good value if the price of the SC2009 is closer to that of the SC2007. So check the cost of each and decide how much extra you think the bikini attachment is worth.

But what about all the other devices?

What are the alternatives?

Philips Lumea Prestige BRI956 review: looks good, comes with so much good stuff!A new version of the Prestige was released in March 2017 and if it is available where you live, I recommend you check it out. It’s twice as fast to apply (7 mins per full leg) and now has an advanced skin tone sensor. It suggests your optimum intensity level but still let’s you manually tweak it. It has 4 curved treatment windows which are effortless to position because they fit your different body contours. And finally you can choose to use it corded or cordless – it does both. It’s the most sophisticated home IPL available and has a price tag to match. If you demand the best read the Philips Lumea Prestige BRI956 review now.

There are a few other high-scoring premium alternatives worthy of your consideration.

The Smoothskin Gold and Braun Silk-expert IPL are almost identical to each other. They offer different benefits to the SC2009. You’ll miss the smaller precision attachments, the great gun-shape design and the impressive Philips build quality. But there’s another draw; faster application. You can finish a full leg in under 9 mins vs up to 14 mins with the cordless Lumea Sc2009 / Sc2007 models. The special skin tone sensor ensures safety before every flash because it checks your tone AND selects the best intensity level for you (for skin types I to V).

If you want the same quality as the Sc2009 but can’t stretch the budget, try the Philips Lumea Advanced. The gun-shaped Philips Lumea Advanced has 250,000 flashes, the same treatment modes and times, a precision attachment and a bikini attachment (SC1999 only). Being mains-powered there’s no faffing with charging or battery care. You can’t use it on darker skin tones so it comes with a standard skin tone sensor for peace of mind. It’s very easy to use and has a retro charm that gives it a different character. It’s less expensive and still a great choice.

Learn about other top home IPL machines, including which is best for black skin or fair hair with my Best Buy recommendations.

Here’s a quick recap of the Lumea SC2009 pros and cons.

Pros

  • Stand-out build quality that feels solid and safe in your hand
  • Gun-shape design feels natural and effortless to manoeuvre
  • Lamp treats a massive 1,000,000 cm2 body area for 15+ years of use
  • Great choice for full body and large areas
  • Cordless operation means no tangles and you can use it anywhere
  • Suitable for a broader range of skin types (I to V)
  • All the safety and treatment features you’d expect
  • Integrated UV filter
  • Very easy to operate
  • CE mark (EU declaration of conformity to meet safety requirements)
  • Precision attachment makes it easy to treat the face and trickier areas
  • No-sting treatments with the specialist bikini attachment (SC2009)
  • Online reviewers love it
  • Excellent reputation and customer service from Philips

Cons

  • They’re expensive and prices fluctuate, so try to pick up the best deal
  • One battery charge might not be enough to complete a full body treatment
  • You need to charge it every couple of months, even if not in use, or the battery may degrade
  • There’s no skin tone sensor, which may put some off
  • It’s got an average flash rate (up to 3.5 seconds) so treating large areas is slow. See the faster recommended alternatives above.
  • A newer Prestige model is available – it’s even better (but more expensive).

Should I buy the Philips Lumea Sc2009?

Yes. It stands out particularly for its cordless, high-quality gun-shaped design and almost endless flashes. And the hundreds of reviews that love it and love their hair-free results. But don’t forget you need to care for the rechargeable battery, and you may not finish your full body with one charge. Do check out the alternatives above, before you decide.

You can check prices or buy the Lumea SC2009 and SC2007 using the links below.

Where to buy the Philips Lumea SC2009 & SC2007

I receive referral commission if you buy through these links. Thank you!

Philips Lumea SC2009 Philips Lumea SC2009, for face, body & bikini

Buy from Amazon: UK & International orders
Buy from Boots.com: UK & International orders, choose country at top of page
Buy from Shavershop.com.au: Australia orders, with 90 day money back guarantee
Philips Lumea SC2007/00 Philips Lumea SC2007, for face & body

Buy from Amazon: UK & International orders
Buy from Boots.com: UK & International orders, choose country at top of page

Still not sure? Check out our other recommended Best Buy home laser and IPL hair removal machines here

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