Luminar Neo Review

Photo editor:

Luminar Neo



Release date:

February 2022

Money back:

30-day money back guarantee

Welcome to the Luminar Neo review, a newly announced Skylum photo editing app that was released this year.

We’ve dug deep into the photo editor and covered these main topics:

  • What is Luminar Neo
  • Release date
  • Key features
  • How to get the software
  • Comparison: Luminar AI vs Luminar Neo
  • Is it worth it or not

I’ve already had the experience to test the full version of Luminar Neo. In this hands-on review of this editor, I will help you understand what this tool is all about and how you can benefit from it.

Let’s get right into it.

What is Luminar Neo?

luminar neo logo

Luminar Neo is an artificial intelligence-based creative image editing software that simplifies image processing.

You can use it on Mac and Windows. It has many tools and layers that allow you to create detailed images.

Moreover, the high-speed core engine of the software speeds up complex and heavy editing tasks.

However, you may ask “Why did Skylum have to launch a completely new software instead of upgrading the existing Luminar 4 and Luminar AI?”

Apparently, the changes that the company made in previous software aren’t reversible. So, Neo was created to provide image editors with something newer and faster.

For instance, the new app will feature “Layers”, a desirable feature that wasn’t present in Luminar AI.

Luminar Neo Release Date

Luminar Neo was officially released in February 2022. You can already download and test this photo editor.

It was 6 months between the announcement of this creative image editor in September and its official release date in February.

The good news is that Luminar Neo is going to have some major updates in the future. These will help to improve overall performance and some new features are going be added. Some of these features are going to be:

  • Mask AI
  • Portrait Background Removal AI
  • Dodge & Burn
  • Using Luminar Neo as Smart Object in Photoshop
  • Undo and Redo & more Hotkeys

And there should be even more.

By the end of the next section, you’d know most of its features available at the moment.

Luminar Neo Features

We’ll be discussing the features of Luminar Neo that Skylum has already announced. Most of the before and after samples below are provided by Skylum.

Image Relighting with AI

luminar neo relight ai

Luminar AI uses artificial intelligence to brighten up your dark images naturally.

For instance, you can make an evening image glow with the natural brightness of the day.

Remove Image Backgrounds

luminar neo background

Many times, the background of an image won’t be as good as its subject. Or, you might want to replace a background with your own.

The powerful AI lets you do that quite easily and effectively.

Remove Dust and Spots from Images

luminar ai remove dust

It’s normal to catch dirt, dust, and spots on your images, no matter how good of a camera you are using.

Fortunately, you can do something about that in Luminar Neo. Using artificial intelligence, the software removes any unwanted spots on your images.

Remove Power Lines

luminar neo remove powerlines

This is a creative feature; you can remove any unwanted lines from your images with great detail using a brush.

For instance, it removes any unwanted power lines in your images.

Get Creative with Layers

luminar neo layers example

You’d love this feature if you are more of a creative type editor.

Layers allow you to add multiple images and create something new out of them.

Manage Your Images with the Mobile App

Luminar Neo share photos to mobile

Using the new phone app by Skylum, you can upload your phone snaps to your Luminar catalogue. After you’re done with the editing, transfer them back to your phone.

You can use the app on Android as well as Apple devices, however, as of yet, we can’t say anything else about it.

Blending Modes

Blending modes will be somewhat like templates.

You can let the AI decide which one is best suited to your image.

Editing History

The editing history feature is pretty useful in an image editor.

Luminar neo editing history

It lets you work with peace of mind and revert to a previous version of your photo at any time.  

Precise Control

The company has worked with artists and photographers to come up with an image editor that lets its users control every aspect of an image.

The tool allows creative minds to make detailed tweaks to their images and come up with something new and exciting.

Powerful Performer

The new editing engine of the Luminar Neo makes it possible for you to apply multiple tools to a single image smoothly.

Moreover, you’d also be able to edit multiple raw images at a time in Luminar Neo without any significant performance loss.

Luminar Neo Free Trial

Unfortunately, Luminar Neo doesn’t offer any type of free trial. However, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee.

It means that if you purchase Luminar Neo and it’s not what you expected, you can receive a full refund during the first 30 days.

How it works:

  1. Order Luminar Neo.
  2. Feel free to use it for 30 days to see if you are satisfied with it.
  3. If you don’t like it, ask for a 100% refund.

How To Get Luminar Neo?

luminar neo lifetime price

To be among the first users to try this photo editor, you need to:

Although you cannot take Luminar Neo for a free trial (for example, Luminar AI has a free trial), it does come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

So, if you don’t like what you see in this AI-powered image editor, you can always get your investment back.

Luminar Neo vs Luminar AI: Comparison

Here are the main differences and similarities between these editors:


Luminar AI

Luminar NEO




Luminosity Masking



AI-based masking



Basic Local Masking



Portrait Background Removal



AI Sensor Dust Removal



AI Power Lines Removal



AI Relight based on image depth



Sky Replacement AI



Enhance AI



Structure AI



Skin Enhancer AI



Composition AI



Atmosphere AI



Body AI



Face AI



Portrait Bokeh AI



Mobile Sharing with Mobile Assistant



  • Layers

Layers are one of the main features that Luminar AI is lacking and Luminar Neo will contain. With Luminar Neo, creators will be able to use RAW images as layers.

Moreover, it will be possible to save layers with images and masks to a new Preset or Template for multiple use. It also makes it possible to apply existing Presets or Templates to any layer independently from each other.

  • AI-based tools

Luminar Neo has a total of 13 AI-based tools while Luminar AI has 10. Luminar AI has just one AI-based tool – Composition AI that Luminar Neo is missing. Neo has more tools that help to unleash more creativity in your photos.

  • Other Differences

Luminar AI is more for a whole “bundle” editing when you have lots of photos. While Neo is more similar to Photoshop with the main focus on single image editing.

Luminar Neo has more smart features and is oriented as a one-click editing solution making it easy to use.

Compared to older versions, Luminar Neo is an improvement in terms of speed and performance.

Most editors were expecting Luminar Neo to replace its predecessor, however, it may not happen.

Is Luminar Neo worth it?

If you have used Skylum’s products in the past, you’d know that their software saves you lots of time when editing photos.

So, there is no reason to not believe that Luminar Neo would be an effective image editing tool for photographers.

As a person who has 100% tested this photo editor I’d say that it is worth it. Here are my main reasons:

  • The software is very easy to use
  • Saves tons of time which is important for busy photographers
  • Reasonable price
  • More updates are coming, so we are going to see more features and more value added to the editor

And even if it turns out to be unworthy, you can get your money back within 30 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will Skylum Release Luminar Neo?

Luminar Neo was already released in February 2022. You can buy and download it from official Skylum website. 

Furthermore, we are waiting for more updates in the future that should make the photo editing app more powerful.

Who is Luminar Neo for?

It’s not only for photographers of designers but also for people who like creative edits. It’s also useful for beginner photographers – you won’t have to spend a fortune learning how to use the software. It’s designed for all folks who want to create visuals.

I say it’s a nice replacement for Adobe Photoshop since it’s easy to use and have powerful AI tools to handle all the difficulties for you.

How is Luminar Neo Better than Luminar AI?

It comes with new and exciting features, allowing the user to make creative edits to their photographs.

For instance, you are able to remove backgrounds, blend images together, and more.

Whereas, Luminar AI is more geared towards users that want quick and AI-generated results.

Is There a Discount Code for Luminar Neo?

If you are already a user of Skylum products (Luminar 3 & 4, Luminar AI, Aurora HDR), you can get a loyalty discount.

Instead of $79, you will only have to pay $69. Consider this a gift from the company to its loyal customers.

Can Luminar Neo Replace Luminar AI?

Luminar Neo isn’t going to replace Luminar AI because the new software isn’t designed for that purpose. While both use AI to make things easier for an editor, the image editors offer unique features and capabilities.

In fact, you can use both the software to achieve more creative and professional results.

Does Luminar Neo Offer HDR?

No, it won’t be offering HDR functionality.

However, you can use Skylum’s HDR software as a plugin with Luminar Neo.

Final Thoughts

The introduction of an entirely new AI image editing software by Skylum might be a surprise for some existing users.

After all, Luminar AI was equipped with some great features and also received a recent Portrait Bokeh AI update.

But, Luminar AI and Luminar Neo, while have some overlapping features, offer unique features as well. So, even if you already own Luminar AI, you’d love the extra creative features of Luminar Neo.

If you are a creative editor and like to save time on photo editing, be among the first ones to try this new photo editor.

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