Luminar AI Review

Luminar AI is a fairly popular photo editing software that also consists of some great features and performance, as evident by its appeal and consistent upgrades. The Luminar AI software also has variations, all built from AI based technologies. Luminar photo editing can be really useful for many reasons, mostly for image enhancement. You can use such images anywhere and anytime, be it marketing or personal use. It is similar to the image sharpener from Vance AI. In this article, we will give you a Luminar AI review, discussing its features and comparing them with other image editing tools.

What is Luminar?

Luminar AI, also known as Skylum Luminar 4, is a photo editing software application available for both MacOS and Windows. It is also usable as a plugin for various image editing software applications like Photoshop. The Luminar software is a really useful tool in itself because of the amazing features and user experience it provides. While you can spend some time using the software under a free trial, it is ultimately a paid software that costs a minimum of $75 approx. 

What Can Luminar AI Do?

The expense of owning such a software application obviously comes with expectations. In this section of our Luminar review, we will be taking a look at the various image editing features that this application offers. As said, this tool works on Windows, MacOS, and as a plugin in other image editing tools like Photoshop. A common feature that we’ll mention here, which is present across all paid plans of Luminar AI is that of an active customer service. 

Features of Luminar AI

1. Replace Sky: Sky AI

Luminar AI can utilize its AI based technology to replace sky backdrops entirely and supplant them with a backdrop perhaps much more suitable or aesthetic. The process for doing this is easy as well, for the user will only need to select a custom background and apply it with a single click. However, the custom backgrounds would still be limited in number.  

2. Retouch Portraits: Face AI and Iris AI

The Luminar AI works similar to image processing AI technology in the way that it excels in reading images and remembering its details. When it comes to enhancing face photos, the tool then memorizes each detail, including colors, and recreates an enhanced version of it. The same goes for the Iris AI feature.

3. Create 3D Weather Effects: Atmosphere AI

The Luminar AI is also strong enough to recreate the entire tone and atmosphere of a picture. From the website itself, we can see how wonderfully it transforms a seemingly mundane shot of an urban setting at night into something you’d see in magazines or shows. The Luminar AI tool is especially good at recognizing perfect colors for images and that aspect shows here to great extent.

4. Choose Smart Templates

Though the Luminar AI release date on Bokeh is not available, it is rest assured on its way. Using Bokeh and other features such as Color Harmony and Accent, users can create amazing templates and save them for later. Otherwise, you can also choose from Luminar AI’s own collection of smart templates that look equally stunning.

Luminar AI vs Skylum Luminar 4

Luminar AI and Skylum Luminar 4 are similar products. First, Luminar AI and Luminar 4 both support Windows and MacOS operating systems. Also, they both are compatible as plugins for Photoshop, Lightroom, and Apple Photos. The minor differences that do exist are that Luminar AI is a bit faster at image processing while Luminar 4 has features like removing image noise. When it comes to pricing, Luminar 4 is only a few dollars cheaper than Luminar AI. They are pretty neck-to-neck overall. 

Best Alternative to Luminar AI

What makes Luminar AI amazing and really fun to use is that it is useful in pretty much any aspect, be it background changing, image enhancing, image editing, etc. It is also quite expensive, especially for someone who is just getting into image editing or someone who doesn’t want long-term software. In such cases, Vance AI can be the perfect alternative tool. It is a product that has many features such as an Image Sharpener, which is a tool for enhancing photos. Not to mention that Vance AI is an online and offline tool, depending on your preference. 


  • Flexible Pricing Options: Luminar has both yearly and one-time fee licenses available for its users. You can own the program outright or subscribe to a yearly subscription that gives you the most up-to-date software. You can also get a discount price upgrading from a previous version of Luminar.
  • 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee: If you are not happy with Luminar, you can get a full refund within 30 days, no questions asked.
  • Powerful AI: The program AI recognizes sections of your photo quickly, separating the different parts and enabling you to jump into editing with no headache.
  • Compatibility: This program is compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems. The program also works seamlessly as a plugin for Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom Classic, and Photos for macOS.
  • Trial: You can try Skylum Luminar AI free for seven days. After this period is over, you will need to purchase a license.


  • Advanced AI Recognition: The best function of this program is the AI smart technology behind the software. Luminar AI recognizes faces, landscapes, artistic composition techniques, and more. The program takes the legwork out of technical know-how and lets you do the fun stuff.
  • Incredible Portrait Editing: If you are a portrait photographer, Luminar AI takes it to another level. You can do everything from removing dark circles, improving eyebrows, enhancing the eyes overall, and so much more. You can also make fixes to the skin, body and add portrait lighting.
  • Great Landscape Photography Features: Change the overall mood, add film grain, change the sky or atmosphere. There are many tools to enhance landscape photography.
  • Local Masking: Apply features to a localized part of the image. For example, if you want to apply a filter to only a section of the photo, but not the whole, you can do this using local masking. 
  • Plugin: Works great as a plugin for Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom Classic, and Photos for macOS.
  • Clean Interface: Skylum Luminar AI is easy to navigate. The program is minimalistic and uncluttered.
  • Help tool: Leads you directly to Skylum’s video tutorials.
  • Templates: These are presets that come with the program or for purchase online. The templates have additional AI features, too, becoming adaptive to the media. If you have a photoshop with varied quality, Luminar will automatically make them look like they were taken from the same batch.
  • Before and After View: As you edit, view your original project next to your current edited version.
  • History tab: View past edits that you made to your project, clicking back in history.
  • Sky Replacement: Replace the sky with a click of a button. This feature is great for photos taken on a cloudy day, letting you swap in a clear blue sky or a colorful sunset. The lighting adaption is powerful.
  • Additional Online Resources: Get additional templates on the Luminar Marketplace. You can buy bundles, individual looks, and more.
  • Template Suggestion: Instead of wasting time looking for the perfect preset, Luminar does the work for you, suggesting the best look.
  • Image 3D Transform: You can adjust the perspective distortion of an image, sliding the tool horizontally or vertically to achieve your desired look.
  • Mark Approved Images: In the catalog, you can mark images as favorites or rejects.

Overall, Luminar has many features to offer, giving you incredibly powerful AI tools, providing a great quick-editing experience. However, the features don’t give you complete editing control, missing key elements such as layers or layer blending modes.

If you need a system that gives you full advanced control over an image, you will need a more robust program.