Luminar (software)

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Luminar Software.png
Developer(s)Skylum Software
Initial releaseNovember 17, 2016; 2 years ago (2016-11-17)
Stable release
Luminar 2018
Operating systemWindows, macOS
TypePhoto editing, image manipulation

Luminar is a universal photo editing software developed by Skylum (formerly Macphun) available for Windows and macOS.[1][2]

Luminar can work as a stand-alone application as well as a plug-in.[3] The application has filters, which can be used to edit images. The effects can be combined using layers and masks.[4] Luminar works directly with raw files.[5][6]


Macphun launched Luminar in November 2016.[7] An update with new tools and features called Luminar Neptune was released in 2017.[1] Initially developed only for macOS, Macphun launched Luminar 2018 for Windows PC version in late 2017. At the same time, the company announced that it will change its name to Skylum.[8]

Luminar 2018, which was launched in November 2017, introduced a RAW develop module,[9][10] changed the user interface[11][5] and also added new filters.[12]


Luminar has generally received positive reviews. Tech Radar reviewed the beta version of the application in 2016 and gave it a 4.5 out of 5.[7] MyMac Reviews rated it 9 out of 10.[9] Digital Rev appreciated the number of features offered by the software writing that "amateur Instagrammers and pro-photogs alike will feel like they’re in an Aladdin’s cave of wonders with what’s on offer in that regard," but pointed out that "in general Luminar does suffer from some problems when greater editing functions are stacked up against Lightroom or Photoshop’s."[13]

Reviewing the software in late 2016, Macworld gave it a 4.5 out 5 appreciating its interface for being "flexible, intuitive, and simple," while criticising the absence of "multi-image tabbed interface, like Photoshop’s, which lets you click to choose different images within the main window."[14] Ghacks gave it a four out of five.[15] Writing about Luminar 2018, Digital Trends expressed that it "is an excellent photo editor for beginners and hobbyists, with enough features to appease even some professional photographers."[16]

Appreciating the simple interface of the software, TechRepublic wrote that "Skylum's Luminar 2018, on the other hand, addresses common image issues—including color correction, brightening and darkening, cropping, and applying filters—without requiring you to become an expert in manipulating a variety of palettes, layers, and tools."[17]

Luminar was awarded Best Imaging Software 2017 by TIPA and the Lucie Technical Awards for Best Software Plugin in October 2017.[18]


  1. ^ a b Cade, DL (November 1, 2017). "Macphun unveils Luminar 2018, takes on Adobe Lightroom CC".
  2. ^ Eckel, Erik (December 31, 2016). "Luminar: The only photo-editing tool most Mac users need".
  3. ^ Berube, Jennifer. "Review of the New Luminar 2018".
  4. ^ Row, Jason (November 2, 2017). "Luminar 2018 – First Impressions".
  5. ^ a b Pierini, David (November 4, 2016). "Luminar takes the negatives out of photo editing".
  6. ^ Ottke, Adam (December 10, 2017). "Fstoppers Reviews Macphun'sLuminar 2018 Image Editor".
  7. ^ a b Lawton, Rod (October 26, 2016). "Low-cost photo editor Luminar will light up Mac owners' screens on November 17".
  9. ^ a b Blanchard, Curt (November 9, 2017). "Luminar 2018 – Review".
  10. ^ "Luminar 2018 is a Your New Alternative to Adobe Lightroom". November 2, 2017.
  11. ^ Stapley, Jon (November 17, 2017). "Luminar 2018 now shipping for Mac and Windows".
  12. ^ Nicholls, Will (November 1, 2017). "Macphun Unveils Luminar 2018 to Take on Adobe Lightroom".
  13. ^ Boost, Rick (November 18, 2016). "Luminar Photo Editor Hands-On First Impressions".
  14. ^ Dove, Jackie (December 27, 2016). "Luminar review: A serious challenger to the reigning pro apps for photo editing mastery".
  15. ^ Brinkmann, Martin (July 18, 2017). "Luminar Photo Editor for Windows: first look".
  16. ^ Grigonis, Hillary (November 1, 2017). "MacphunLuminar 2018 review".
  17. ^ Eckel, Erik (November 30, 2017). "Luminar 2018 adds new tools and filters to the powerful photo-editing app".
  18. ^ Roa, Holly (November 1, 2017). "Aiming For Lightroom Users, Luminar 2018 Brings New Features, User Interface, Now For Windows".