November 1, 2022

Lightroom, an image management and editing program that has now become part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscription service, had its first public release in 2007.

Both the mobile and desktop versions of Lightroom have proven to be a useful tool for photographers of all skill levels, as they permit non-destructive editing, which means that changes to an image are saved separately from the original file.

Unfortunately, the standalone version of Lightroom is no longer supported by the developer as of version 6.14.


Then why is Lightroom now a paid service? Read on to find out everything you need to know about this program.

Lightroom now has not one, but two desktop versions, in addition to a mobile version. Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC, two desktop versions of Lightroom, are presently not free to download.

Originally introduced by Adobe, Lightroom Classic is a picture library that has straightforward, nondestructive editing options. Lightroom CC, the cloud-based version, can be used on a desktop computer, but its image storage and user interface are both improved by being hosted in the cloud.

Lightroom is updated more frequently and additional editing tools and features are added to meet the demands of all photographers thanks to the subscription model. By controlling who can use the cloud, subscribers are ensured sufficient storage for their data.

Lightroom Subscription

In the past, customers could pay once for Lightroom and have it forever. Adobe, however, has settled on charging users $9.99 per month, or $119.88 per year, for 1TB of storage in order to keep and modify various images. You may get both Lightroom and Photoshop by subscribing to Adobe’s Photography Plan.
Lightroom can be installed on two devices simultaneously with just one paid subscription and license. However, Adobe does not let customers to have two separate instances of Lightroom installed and active at the same moment.
Lightroom will not be made available at no cost to students. While normally expensive, Adobe Creative Cloud is available to educational institutions at a reduced rate. About twenty programs, including Lightroom, are available for download with this plan.

Is There a Free Equivalent to Lightroom?

Lightroom’s mobile app for smartphones is still available for free download, making it simple to get started managing and improving your photo library. There are two places where you can get this app: the Google Play Store for Android devices and the Apple App Store for iPhones.
However, there are restrictions on what you can do with this demo version, and you will be required to upgrade to the paid version at some point. Lightroom Mobile is still a useful editing tool for casual smartphone photographers.
There are free alternatives to Lightroom that offer similar features, but these may not meet the needs of all photographers, especially those who work professionally.

Final Thoughts

Both Lightroom Classic and Lightroom Cloud require paid subscriptions to use its many useful features. Your subscription includes two separate Lightroom installations; however, you may only use one at a time. It’s true that you can get Lightroom Mobile without spending a dime, but if you want to unlock all of its potential, you’ll have to pony up for the paid version at some point.