What Are Lightroom Presets, How To Install & Use Them On Different Devices

Photo by Jose Pedro Ortiz on Unsplash 

Discover how to use Lightroom and take your pictures to the next level with this complete guide...

Lightroom is one of the most chosen editing software for photographers, entrepreneurs, content creators, and image editors. It has basic features that everyone can use in a second and others that might require some practice, but nothing that can’t be learned in an afternoon.

Adobe Lightroom is developed by Adobe Inc., the same company that runs Photoshop, Premier Pro, and Illustrator. As stated by the company itself “you can think of Lightroom as your starting point for post-processing. In many cases, it’s a one-stop shop. Unlike Photoshop, which caters to a variety of creative disciplines, Lightroom is specifically built to efficiently handle a professional photographer’s workflow, from photo management to finishing touches”.

The software provides endless possibilities when it comes to photo editing, with tools that everyone can easily learn to use and achieve a professional, cohesive and organized look. It is great for keeping all of your pictures under the same tones and exploring your creative side.

If you’re interested in getting to know how to use Lightroom and applying the word-famous presets, the article below contains a complete guide on the topic, with useful information about the different Lightroom versions and individual adjustments to have in mind.

What Are Lightroom Presets?

In essence, Lightroom presets are image filters that have a series of pre-established settings that can be pasted and adjusted to any photo. They used to make images follow a certain aesthetic, for example, a brighter appearance, warmer colors, completely cold palettes, etc.

Thy allow users, especially photographers, to quickly edit their pictures in the same tone without having to spend much time individually changing each image’s settings. Furthermore, Lightroom presets have become so popular that everyone can use them, not only the pros, thus many want to maintain a balance in their picture’s tones and have that perfect Instagram feed, or simply enhance an image’s colors.

How To Install Lightroom Presets

Lightroom presets can be used both on the mobile and desktop version, and their installment varies a little bit from each, and the major difference is the format they are downloaded and how you add them to Lightroom.

To install Lightroom presets on mobile devices, simply import the DNG file you downloaded as the preset and import it to Lightroom.

Then, go to the toolbar and find the Presets Tab to select the three dots icon and press Import Preset (or Create Preset, depending on what version of Lightroom you have). This will open a small page where you can give a name to your preset and save it.

Then all left to do is open the picture you want to edit and paste the preset.

For Lightroom desktop, there are a few ways to download and install presets depending on the version you have:

  • Lightroom Classic (version 7.3 or later) on Mac or Windows. Once you download the preset it will appear as a ZIP file. Go to Lightroom, find the Develop Module button, click on File and once it opens a menu select Import and Develop Profiles and Presets. Here you’ll have to navigate the Presets Folder and pick your ZIP file.
  • Lightroom 4, 5, 6, and Lightroom Classic (version 7.2 or older) on Mac or Windows. For this, download your preset that will appear as a ZIP file. Open Lightroom and select Preferences in the menu on the right (if you have Windows, click Edit and then the Preferences option will appear).

After this, click the Presets tab and the button titled Show Lightroom Presets Folder, followed by navigating to the Develop Presets folder inside your Lightroom folder. All left to do is copy the preset you downloaded and unzipped on the Develop Presets folder and you’re ready to go.

  • Lightroom CC on Mac or Windows. Open Lightroom CC and select the image you want to edit. Then click on File and then Import Files and Presets in the top menu once it appears. You’ll have to search the Preset folder and pick the ZIP file you downloaded (the one that has the preset). That's it!

How To Use Lightroom Presets

Lightroom presets are very easy to use and adjust. Both mobile and desktop versions work very similarly on this, so to paste a preset on your desired image simply go to the Presets tab and select the one you want. After this, you can play around with the different settings moderately to make sure you don’t alter the settings too much and end up “losing” the idea of that preset.

Here’s a useful guide on some of the most common adjustments on the Lightroom app to give you an idea of their roles and how they can make your pictures achieve the look you want.

Light basics

  • Exposure. Helps brighten the image (darken if you want an opaque look)
  • Highlights. The brighter parts of the picture. It can be used to amplify them or bring them down.
  • Shadows. Opposite to highlights, this is used to give the picture a more subtle look if turned up. For darker outcomes, it is recommended to turn them down.
  • Clarity. The more you turn up this setting the more “sharp” the picture will look, so if you’re looking for that trendy dreamy look it is highly advised to turn it down a bit.

Color basics

  • Temperature. The temperature tool helps you give a warmer or colder appearance to your picture.
  • Tint. This one gives orange-pink or blue-green subtle tones to your image. It complements the Temperature tool.
  • Vibrance. It is similar to the Saturation button which helps the color of the image pop or quiet it down if you want.
  • Color Wheel (Mix). The Color Wheel allows you to adjust each of the primary colors individually, their hue, saturation, and vibrance. It is excellent to keep certain colors true to themselves and as bright, vibrant, and toned as you want to.

Selective Edits

The selective edits are used for adjusting only specific parts of an image you select, such as adjusting their color, fixing their background or “bad spot” as well as their light. Once you start playing around you can easily pick up some tricks and learn more about their use for your next projects.

Benefits Of Lightroom Presets

According to Adobe, “One of Lightroom’s most important features is image management. Many photographers begin the editing process with Lightroom, because it excels at handling large amounts of photos, so you can get more work done more quickly”. The benefits of Lightroom presets go beyond simply adding a filter to an image, they save time and help you achieve a cohesive, professional, and organized look. They are great for showing your professional work, not only for photographers but for anyone who wants to add images to their portfolio and give a confident look, as well as for stepping up your Instagram game.

What’s more, they are very easy to use, and most don’t need almost any adjustment thus it all depends on the image you choose. A great tip to know is to look for presets for your desired image, instead of applying any preset to it. This will help you save even more time and not have to adjust the settings individually.

Lightroom presets are great for establishing a brand or personal mark, for bloggers, entrepreneurs, social media influencers, and more. They add creativity to your pictures and make you and your images stand out among the rest.

The Bottom Line

Lightroom completely revolutionized the world of photography and image-sharing, allowing people to access top-class tools with only their phone or computer. This article explained the basics of Lightroom presets and how to download and install them on mobile and desktop versions.

Now all left to do is find some great presets and start playing around with the software’s tools. Pixmellow offers trendy and professional Lightroom presets ready for you to use, with helpful categories such as travel presets, Instagram presets, and moody presents among some, that adapt perfectly to any image you have in these categories. There’s a wide catalog to choose from and more categories for you to explore to find the best preset for your picture. 

With options for mobile and desktop users, Pixmellow is here to help you achieve the perfect look you’re looking for. If you want to grow your business, Instagram profile, and even your personal brand, Lightroom presets are a great step forward to stepping up your game.