How To Use Luminar AI With Lightroom & Photoshop

If you’re already a user of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, Luminar AI can be easily integrated into each program as a plugin. This allows you to take advantage of the unique AI tools only available in Luminar AI and drastically speed up your workflow. When you first install Luminar, it may not be visible as a plugin in Lightroom or Photoshop. Luckily you can set it up with just a few clicks.

To install Luminar AI as a plugin in Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop, open Luminar AI and click on the Luminar AI logo in the upper left corner. From the drop-down menu that appears, select “Install Plugins,” then click the “Install” buttons beside Photoshop and Lightroom in the programs list.

Once the plugin is installed, you may have difficulty knowing how to open your images from one program to another. The way of opening images in Luminar AI varies between Lightroom and Photoshop, so they have been broken up into sections below. By the end of this post, moving your images to Luminar AI will feel like a seamless transition in your workflow!

Can Luminar AI Be Used As A Plugin?

If you’re like me, you probably already had a photo editing program of choice long before Luminar ever came on the scene. However, after seeing all the advanced AI editing features in Luminar, it’s hard not to wish you could take advantage of them. Luckily Luminar AI can be used as a plugin in various programs to use it alongside your regular workflow.

Here is a list of programs Luminar AI can be used as a plugin with:

  • Adobe Lightroom
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Photos For MacOS

Just as you can open an image from Lightroom into Photoshop and back, you can do the same with Luminar AI. However, rather than spending the time to work with complex layers, masks, and spot adjustments, you can pop over to Luminar AI and use AI technology to speed up the process.

If you aren’t familiar with all the amazing tools found in Luminar AI, this review shares everything you need to know!

How To Install Luminar AI Into Photoshop And Lightroom

The installation of Luminar AI into Photoshop and Lightroom is very straightforward and can be done using the same steps.

First, you’ll need to download, install, and open Luminar AI on your computer. If you haven’t already done so, you can download Luminar AI here. Better yet, you can save yourself some cash in the process by using my discount code BRNWILLS. Think of it as a little thank you for stopping by!

There is also a 7-day free trial of Luminar AI if you’re not quite ready to make the full commitment yet.

Once the program is installed and opened, you’ll notice the Luminar AI logo in the upper left corner. Clicking here will reveal a drop-down menu. From this drop-down menu, click on “Install Plugins.”

A new dialogue box will appear with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom inside. You will likely see a prompt asking for Luminar AI to have admin access to your device. You will need to allow this by following the directions given in the prompt. Once access is granted, click the Install buttons beside each program to install Luminar AI as a plugin.

If Lightroom or Photoshop are already opened on your computer, you will need to quit and reopen the programs for the new Luminar plugin to be available.

How To Use Luminar AI With Photoshop

To use Luminar AI as a plugin with Photoshop, select your image layer in Photoshop, and go to Filter > Skylum Software > Luminar AI. Your image will automatically open into Luminar AI, where you can make your new edits. Click Apply in the upper right corner to save your image back to Photoshop.

With this method, your Luminar AI adjustments will be baked into the layer once it’s saved back into Photoshop. Of course, this isn’t ideal if you want to make any changes to these adjustments later on. One obvious solution to this problem is duplicating your image layer and bringing the duplicate version into Luminar AI. However, using a smart object offers an even better way of doing things since you can reaccess the Luminar AI adjustments, and you don’t need to merge layers.

Let’s walk through that process together.

– Opening Your Image Into Luminar AI From Photoshop

In this Photoshop project, I have a variety of layers and adjustment layers. I want to bring this photo into Luminar AI. The only issue is that I don’t want to merge everything and lose access to my layers. That’s where a smart object comes into play. Smart objects allow you to put multiple layers into a “container” so that your edits are applied to the container and not the layers directly. I explain how they work more in-depth here.

To convert your layers into a smart object, hold Command or Control and click between your layers to select them. Once they are highlighted, right-click and press Convert To Smart Object.

Your selected layers will now be merged into a smart object. You can access all of the layers individually by double-clicking on the smart object layer thumbnail.

With the smart object layer selected, go up to Filter > Skylum Software > Luminar AI. This will open Luminar AI in a new window with your selected image ready for editing.

– Editing A Photo In Luminar AI

Once the image is opened in Luminar AI, it will be in the Templates Module by default. Luminar Templates are a great starting point for your edit as they provide a variety of professional one-click editing looks for your image. Depending on the photo you have imported to the program, it will provide a series of suggested templates in the upper right corner. Don’t feel pressured to use these templates for your image; they only serve as a recommendation, not a requirement!

If you want to experiment with a template or two, click on a collection and apply one of the templates found inside. You can also bring down the intensity of your templates by adjusting the amount slider found in the bottom right corner.

After applying a template (or not), click on the Editing Module to reveal the other adjustments in Luminar AI. Here you will find the most powerful AI adjustments alongside the usual editing tools such as curves and HSL.

– How To Export From Luminar AI Back To Photoshop

After you are happy with your adjustments, click on the Apply button in the upper right corner to save your image back into Photoshop. The Luminar AI window will close down and reopen the Photoshop window. Here you will find your image layer updated with the new adjustments. Luminar AI will also be displayed as a smart filter.

Since it has been added as a smart filter, you can reaccess all your Luminar AI edits by double-clicking on the Luminar AI smart filter. Better yet, you can make your Luminar adjustments appear selectively by adjusting the smart filter layer mask to hide parts of the smart filter.

Using Luminar AI alongside Photoshop is a great way to speed up many tedious editing tasks you find yourself doing. Things such as retouching skin, doing sky replacements, adding glow effects, and more. The tasks requiring lots of layers and fine adjustments in Photoshop can usually be made with a single slider in Luminar AI. That’s why I think these two programs are the perfect duo for a professional retouching workflow!

How To Use Luminar AI With Lightroom

To use Luminar AI as a plugin with Lightroom, right-click on your photo, choose Edit In > Luminar AI, select “Edit A Copy With Lightroom Adjustments” and click Edit. The image will open in Luminar AI and you can begin adding your edits. Once complete, click Apply to save your edit back to Lightroom.

The process of opening an image from Lightroom into Luminar AI is very similar to working between Lightroom and Photoshop. Although it’s relatively straightforward, there are a few important steps you’ll want to be aware of.

– Opening An Image From Lightroom To Luminar AI

In the Library Module of the filmstrip, right-click on your photo and choose Edit In > Luminar AI.

A dialogue box will appear with a few options for which version of your photo you want to edit.

  1. Edit A Copy With Lightroom Adjustments: This means you will create a duplicate copy of your selected image and keep any Lightroom adjustments applied.
  2. Edit A Copy: This will create a copy of your image to edit in Luminar, but without any Lightroom adjustments.
  3. Edit Original: This edits the original image file without duplication or previous Lightroom adjustments.

In most cases, the “Edit A Copy With Lightroom Adjustments” is the best option. This way, you can build on the edits you already made without permanently affecting your original image.

With your editing option selected, click Edit to bring your photo into Luminar AI.

– Editing Your Image In Luminar AI

Just like when you open an image from Photoshop into Luminar, the photo will appear within the Templates Module. Here you can apply any one-click edits for quick enhancements to your photos.

Then head over to the Editing Module, where you can use all of the AI-powered tools alongside the more basic editing adjustments.

– How To Export From Luminar AI Back To Lightroom

After you’ve finished editing in Luminar, click Apply in the upper right corner to save your changes back to Lightroom.

Inside Lightroom, the Luminar edits will be applied to a duplicate version of your image. This duplicate photo will sit directly beside the original in your Library, so it’s easy to locate.

So with this simple workflow, you can take advantage of Luminar AI with Lightroom. It’s worth noting that if you want to edit multiple Lightroom images inside of Luminar AI, simply select a series of photos. This will open all your selected images once you go to Edit In > Luminar AI, rather than just a single image.

Get An Exclusive Discount On Luminar AI

Even if you’re a die-hard Adobe Creative Cloud user, it’s easy to see why Luminar AI is such a valuable tool. With AI-powered tools, one-click editing, and a one-time price, it’s perfect for your workflow and your wallet. Although I can’t see myself ditching Lightroom and Photoshop completely for Luminar AI, the program significantly improves my workflow. Especially with tedious tasks like skin retouching, Luminar AI is an absolute powerhouse.

So if you have yet to purchase Luminar AI for yourself, Skylum has given readers of this blog an exclusive discount for Luminar AI. So you can take advantage of all these amazing tools without breaking the bank. Just use code BRNWILLS as checkout.

Download Luminar AI For Lightroom And Photoshop HERE.

Happy Editing!

Brendan 🙂

Article By

Brendan Williams

Hey, I'm Brendan! I'm a professional photographer and photo retoucher who has spent the majority of his career shooting or retouching outdoor lifestyle and social media campaigns for brands like G-Adventures, xoxo Bella, P&G, Fitbit, Chevy, Tourism California, and more. You can view my photography portfolio here.

These days I primarily focus my efforts on this site, creating guides and tutorials that I wish I had earlier in my career. Each week I publish new tutorials on Photography, Photoshop, Lightroom, and Canva to help you unlock new skills and bring your creativity to new levels! Everything you learn here is backed by real experience, so you can finally skip the fluff and focus only on what matters.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Continue Reading:

Adobe Lightroom System Requirements For Mac & PC

Here's a breakdown of the system requirements for Adobe Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC to make sure it will run smoothly on your computer.

How To Add A Watermark In Lightroom Classic & CC

Learn how to add a text or graphic watermark to a photo in Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC to protect your photos from theft.

How To Use Dehaze In Lightroom

Learn how to use dehaze in Lightroom along with five different ways you can use the dehaze tool to improve your images in Lightroom.

How To Add A Drop Shadow In Canva (To Anything!)

Learn the step by step process to add a drop shadow in Canva to images, text, shapes, and even PNG graphics in your designs.

35+ Best Fonts For Logos In Canva

Here's a list of the best fonts for logos in Canva to help give you inspiration in your next logo design!

How To Create Curved Text In Canva

Learn how to quickly create curved text in Canva desktop and mobile with just a few clicks to spruce up any design!