Luminar Neo

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Luminar Neo
Initial releaseFebruary 2022; 2 years ago (2022-02)
Stable release
1.17.0 (December 2023)
Operating systemWindows, macOS
TypePhoto editing, image manipulation

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

Luminar Neo was released in February 2022.[3] It works as a standalone application and as a plugin for Adobe and Apple products. It integrates with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Elements, Adobe Lightroom Classic, and Photos for macOS.[4]

Luminar Neo has won the Red Dot Brands & Communication Design award in 2022, and the TIPA World Awards for two years in a row: in 2022[5] and 2023.[6]


Prior to Luminar Neo, Skylum (at the time known as Macphun) launched a series of image editing apps, including Luminar in November 2016 and Luminar Neptune in 2017. Initially developed only for macOS, Macphun launched Luminar 2018 for Windows in late 2017. At the same time, the company announced that it will change its name to Skylum.[7]

Luminar 2018, which was launched in November 2017, introduced a RAW develop module, changed the user interface, and added new filters.

Over the years, Skylum released apps such as Luminar 3, Luminar 4, and Luminar AI, each with its own modifications.

Luminar Neo is the last-generation photo editing app developed by Skylum, released in February 2022.

The company website states that “What differentiates Luminar Neo from all previous versions of Luminar is its modular engine. Modules help to evenly distribute the load for faster image processing. This allows you to apply lots of different tools to an image without significant performance losses and save all edits automatically.”[8]

General info[edit]

Luminar Neo is considered to be a tool for both amateur and professional photographers. It has a modular engine, which evenly distributes the load for faster image processing. This allows photographers to apply lots of different edits to an image without significant performance losses and save all edits automatically and non-destructively.

Luminar Neo has a variety of AI-powered features like Sky AI and Face AI designed to enhance photos of any genre, including landscapes, portraits, street photos, and others. Additionally, the application has built-in Presets, which can be used to apply a set of fixed adjustments to images in a few clicks. A variety of additional Presets are also available for purchase in the Luminar Marketplace. The effects can be combined using layers and masks. Luminar Neo supports multiple file formats, including raw files.[9]

Key features[edit]

Luminar Neo’s editing tools are grouped into several categories: Essentials, Creative, Portrait, Professional, and Extensions.

Luminar Neo’s signature tools are:

  • Enhance AI adjusts up to a dozen controls with one slider.
  • Relight AI fixes underexposed photos.
  • Sky AI replaces the sky without the need for masking.
  • Atmosphere AI places fog, mist, or haze in your image.
  • Structure AI sharpens details without affecting the people in the photo.
  • Crop AI helps the photos get stronger compositions, crops, and perspectives.
  • Face AI enhances face features and skin .
  • Skin AI smooths skin and gets rid of imperfections.
  • Body AI shapes a subject’s torso and abdomen by removing or adding volume.
  • Portrait Bokeh AI creates a dreamy bokeh effect.

There is also Mask AI tool that relies on AI algorithms, recognizes objects in photos, and lets the user select any part of a picture by choosing it in the list.

Luminar Neo’s Extensions give photographers additional possibilities. They include:

  • Supersharp AI that recovers details from misfocus and motion blur.
  • Noiseless AI that gets rid of the noise and keeps all the details intact, ensuring a natural look.
  • Upscale AI helps upscale a photo up to 600% and enhances image resolution in a natural way.
  • Background Removal AI automatically removes the background behind one or multiple subjects in a photo.
  • HDR Merge lets users combine up to 10 photos to create an HDR image that brings out important details from the brightest and darkest parts of photos.
  • Focus Stacking stacks up to 100 photos with different points of focus.
  • Magic Light AI places visual accents on a photo by adding glow to light sources.

Luminar Neo also has other editing tools, such as Erase, Sunrays, Glow, Dodge & Burn, Landscape, Details, Denoise, Mood (for working with LUTs), Color, Toning, Dramatic, Color Harmony, Mystical, Film Grain, Matte, Vignette, Clone, High Key, Optics, Light, Black & White, and others.


Luminar Neo has won multiple top industry awards, such as the Red Dot Brands & Communication Design award in the User Interface category and the TIPA World Awards for Best Imaging Software in 2022 and in 2023.[10][11]

Forbes Advisor added Luminar Neo to their list of Best Photo Editing Software of 2023 reviewing the tool as: “Luminar Neo is a popular photo editing software, and for good reason. It uses AI-enabled editing tools to enhance images, such as adding rays of sunshine to a landscape image, to give an example. Its user-friendly interface (UI) allows even beginners to adapt to photo editing easily. Moreover, it has advanced features including tagging, lens correction and editing RAW images.”[12]

PC Magazine advised to choose Luminar Neo for “Clean interface, filters, and unique fixes.”[13]

TechRadar described Luminar Neo as “Powerful, very easy to use, and a great place to start for photographers who fear the complexity of Lightroom or Photoshop.”[14]

ExpertPhotography, the world’s largest photography education website in the world, named Luminar Neo “The landmark photo editing software from Skylum. The incredible Skylum developers have put AI at the heart of Luminar Neo. And they’ve revolutionized photo editing forever. The results are genuinely impressive.”[15]


  1. ^ 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. ^ "Luminar NEO release". Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  4. ^ Berube, Jennifer (27 May 2020). "Review of the New Luminar 2018".
  5. ^ "Tipa World Awards 2022". TIPA. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  6. ^ "Tipa World Awards 2023". TIPA. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  7. ^ Zhang, Michael (2017-10-27). "Macphun Renaming Itself Skylum as its Photo Apps Land on Windows". PetaPixel. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  8. ^ "What's new in Luminar Neo compared to Luminar AI?". Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  9. ^ "Luminar takes the negatives out of photo editing | Cult of Mac". Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  10. ^ "Tipa World Awards 2022". TIPA. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  11. ^ "Tipa World Awards 2023". TIPA. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  12. ^ Anwar, Haaseena. "Best Photo Editing Software Of 2023". Forbes Advisor INDIA. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  13. ^ "The Best Photo Editing Software for 2023". PCMAG. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  14. ^ Dave Stevenson (2022-02-17). "Luminar Neo review". TechRadar. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  15. ^ "Luminar Neo Review 2023 (Full Version Tested)". 2022-06-17. Retrieved 2023-10-20.

External links[edit]