What Exactly is Luminar Neo?

When Images are More Than Just Photos

Creators will love this new offering from Skylum, but what is it that makes Luminar Neo different from Luminar AI?

Based on a new AI technology engine and designed for creative tasks with maximum performance and flexibility. Luminar Neo is a the creative image editor for creators seeking high-quality editing results with the same level of satisfaction you get with Luminar AI.

Luminar Neo vs Luminar AI

Answering the “wish list” of existing Luminar users, Luminar Neo fills that extendable space for creators wanting software help with pushing their images further than basic photographic and imaging needs.

Inheriting some of the best of the Luminar experience, whilst building a software that provides solutions for tasks that creators and photo-artists endure, or find most challenging, and useful, Luminar Neo answers the requirement for these apparently enjoyable pains.

Enjoyable pains? referring to Layers...

It’s true that whilst Layers are very useful, too many Layers for simple and common photographic tasks can be an overkill; slowing down processing and adding confusion. This is why Luminar AI exists, to eliminate all the fiddly stuff that slow down the workflow for the creative photographer.

However, anyone familiar with using Layers for creating complex image composites, or even illustrations, will know the real value of having and using Multiple Layers as part of the construction of an image. This is why Luminar Neo was born.

Bold & Best of Both Worlds

Luminar Neo

Relighting options. Allows precise control over exposure and tone

Remove blemishes and distracting elements. Removes artefacts caused by dust and other undesired  effects. Easily remove unwanted background elements.

Powerful background replacement. Take full control of the background for portrait photos by quickly replacing it with an all-new image or background.

Mobile image management. Once edited in Luminar Neo, results can be sent back to your mobile device for easy social sharing or viewing on the go.

  • Smart, AI-based masking easily isolates elements in individual images.
  • Add numerous images as layers to create entirely new art.
  • Apply any tool and any mask … to any layer, in any order, multiple times.
  • Use creative blending modes, guided by AI, to achieve clean, precise, composite images.

Improved Ease of Use

  • Users can save their photos as well as presets for easy reuse.
  • All editing steps remain editable for complete control over the final image.
  • With a minimalist user interface…


In spite the convenience that Luminar AI offers for photographic images. There has always been a tendency,  at least for me, to fall-back on software such as Adobe Photoshop, or Affinity Photo.

How about you? And why? 

For the Layers of course (at least in most cases).

Having the ability to fine-tune different objects in isolation of each other is essential during the process of composting an overall scene or image.

And besides the nuanced reasons for using Multiple Layers. Generally Layers are helpful for editing and trying-out different variations of your artwork. Which is one of the reasons why I suppose the likes of Adobe Photoshop and Affinity Photo have remained as essential tool for graphic artist.

Now, let’s see how well Luminar Neo will fit into your picture…

How much does Luminar Neo cost?

New Users:

1-seat license for
Luminar Neo 

2-seats license for
Luminar Neo 
@ $59 

1-seat license for
AI+Neo $83 

2-seats license for
Luminar AI+Neo 
@ $98 

Existing Users:

1-seat license for
Luminar Neo 

2-seats license for
Luminar Neo 
@ $49 

1-seat license for
AI+Neo $63 

2-seats license for
Luminar AI+Neo 
@ $88 

Currently, whilst both applications can be installed on the same computer. However, both applications cannot exchange editing data and convert libraries, due to the different engine build for Luminar Neo.

Typically, there will be a utility for converting Luminar AI Templates for use with Luminar Neo…



Yes, you can use both Luminar Neo and Luminar AI with the following:

1. Lightroom Classic (starting from version 6)

2. Photoshop (from version CS5)

3. Photos for macOS

4. Microsoft Photos (coming soon in an update relates to Windows 11)

Luminar AI is for your typical professional photographer, who is not necessarily skilled with photo editing, at least not the practice of creating masks, layers and all the other technical preparatory actions that need to be in place before even committing the actual desired editing…

Meanwhile, Luminar Neo is the extended sibling  to Luminar AI, and includes tools for more intricate image editing …
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Disclosure: Please bear in mind that some of the links on this site may be sponsored links and if you make a purchase I may earn a commission. Please also keep in mind that the companies and the products I mention are ones that I use myself, or have tried. And are mentioned for their quality or usefulness I have experienced myself

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