Luminar Neo Review (2023): Price, Examples & More

luminar neo review featured image

Luminar Neo is becoming a widely recognized photo editor among photographers and making its way to becoming a top-tier photo editing platform.

In this review, we’ve dug deep into the photo editor and covered these main topics:

  • What is Luminar Neo
  • Edited photo examples
  • Key features
  • Comparison: Luminar AI vs Luminar Neo
  • Is it worth it or not

I’ve been using the full version of Luminar Neo for a while now. 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.

Luminar Neo Overview

luminar neo logo

General Info

Photo Editor:

Luminar Neo

Release Date:

February 2022

Lifetime Price:


Subscription Price:

From $8.25 per month

Free Trial:

7 Days Free Trial

Technical Support:


AI Features & Tools:


Money Back:

30-day money back guarantee

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.

Below are the main things I’ve noticed when using Luminar Neo.


  • Powerful and creative AI tools
  • Easy to use, extremely fast results
  • A number of built-in presets and layers
  • You can upload your own pictures as layers
  • Useful extensions for specific needs


  • Slow loading for AI tools (might need a more powerful computer)
  • No Mobile App for editing

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:

  • AI Background Removal
  • Upscale AI
  • Other Luminar Neo extensions

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 Edited Photo Examples

As a person who’s been using this creative photo editor I can say it was really uncomplicated to start using it since the tools are quite simple and easy to learn. 

The AI features are really powerful, and I always manage to transform my pictures with a few single clicks.

Here are a few examples to showcase some features Luminar Neo has:

1. Layers

before after layers on luminar neo

I’ve used the Sparkler layer that was included in the asset list. It immediately added a warm sun flare effect to the picture.

The good news is that you can add your own images and use them as layers.

2. Portrait AI Adjustments

before after portrait ai adjustments

The overall look of this portrait after the edits is immediately noticeable. 

All edits were made using Face and Skin AI tools.

You can see that the skin became brighter, more soft & smooth. And the 

I also added the Eyes AI effect, adding clear brown color and glow.

3. Bokeh AI

This AI feature is very helpful for those who don’t have a portrait lens for the bokeh effect.

You just have to select the subject with a single click and choose the amount of bokeh you want to add.

before after bokeh ai luminar neo


4. Noiseless AI Extension

before after luminar neo noiseless ai

The new Noiseless AI extension for Luminar Neo does a thrilling job of removing noise and restoring detail in dark images.

It might lag when loading if you edit large images and have a slow computer.

Other features

Image Relighting with 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 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.

Editing History

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

luminar neo editing history example

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

Manage Your Images with the Mobile App

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.

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.

How Much Does Luminar Neo Cost?

Luminar Neo lifetime access costs $149. There are also yearly subscription plans starting from $8.25 per month.

With the Pro plan, you will also get access to the Extensions pack. With Lifetime plan, you can buy each extension for $49 separately or get the whole pack containing all extensions for $299.

I personally recommend going for lifetime access if you are considering Luminar Neo as a long-term investment.

Below you’ll find the main differences between each plan.

Subscription vs Lifetime Pricing Comparison

Lifetime ($149 one-time fee)Explore (from $8.25 per month)Pro (from $9.92 per month)
Billed one-timeBilled yearly of monthlyBilled yearly of monthly
Luminar Neo creative editorLuminar Neo creative editorLuminar Neo creative editor
Extensions: Not included, can be purchased separatelyExtensions: Not includedExtensions: Included
Access to all small & technical updatesAccess to all small & technical updatesAccess to all small & technical updates
Access to all upgradesAccess to all upgrades

With the subscription plans, you can choose either to pay monthly or yearly. Annual plans are slightly cheaper.

Basically, there are 2 questions you should ask yourself when considering which plan to choose:

  1. Do you need a lifetime license (are you planning on using the photo editor for a long period of time)?
  2. Do you need the Extensions pack?

Answering these questions should help you make the final decision. 

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 uses. 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 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, Luminar Neo is a great tool no matter if you are a beginner or a professional (recommended even by Peter McKinnon) photographer.

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

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.

Luminar Neo costs $149 for a lifetime license and it also has 2 subscription options available. Explore plan for $8.25/mo or $9.95/yr and Pro plan for $9.92/mo or $14.95/yr. The price is cheaper for those who are upgrading from older Skylum software.

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.

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.

Yes, Luminar Neo has the HDR Merge extension for HDR photos.

However, you can use their 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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