Are Lightroom Presets Free? Exploring the Pros and Cons of Free Presets

As a photographer, you know that editing your photos can be a time-consuming and challenging task. That’s where Lightroom presets come in. These pre-made editing settings can help you save time and achieve consistent results in your photos. However, with so many options available online, it can be tempting to opt for free presets instead of purchasing premium ones. But are lightroom presets free really worth it? In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of using free Lightroom presets.

First, let’s discuss what Lightroom presets are and their importance in photo editing. Simply put, presets are a set of editing adjustments that can be applied to your photos with just a few clicks. They can help you achieve a specific look or style in your images quickly and consistently. Presets can be created by professional photographers or purchased from online marketplaces. The beauty of presets is that they can save you time and help you streamline your editing workflow.

Now, let’s delve into the popularity of free Lightroom presets. It’s no surprise that many photographers are drawn to the idea of free presets. After all, who doesn’t love free stuff? Free presets can be found on a variety of websites and social media platforms, making them easily accessible to anyone with an internet connection. Additionally, free presets can give you a chance to experiment with different styles and looks without the financial commitment of purchasing premium presets. However, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of using free presets before downloading them.

The Truth About Free Lightroom Presets

Making memories with the gang
Making memories with the gang

When it comes to using free Lightroom presets, there are both advantages and disadvantages to consider. Let’s start with the advantages.

Advantages of Using Free Presets

The most obvious advantage of free presets is that they don’t cost a dime. This can be especially appealing to photographers who are just starting out or those on a tight budget. Free presets can also give you a chance to experiment with different styles and looks without investing in premium presets. Additionally, many free presets are created by professional photographers and designers who want to share their work with others, so you can still achieve high-quality results with free presets.

Disadvantages of Using Free Presets

While free presets may seem like a great deal, there are some disadvantages to consider. First and foremost, free presets may not be as customizable as premium presets. This means that you may not be able to adjust the settings to fit your specific needs or preferences. Additionally, free presets may not work well with all types of photos, so you may need to spend additional time tweaking the settings to get the desired results. Finally, free presets may not be as consistent in quality as premium presets, since they are often created by amateurs or hobbyists.

Risks of Downloading Free Presets

There are also some risks involved in downloading free presets, especially from unverified sources. Free presets can contain malware or viruses that can harm your computer or compromise your personal information. Additionally, some free presets may be stolen or pirated, which can lead to legal issues. It’s important to do your research and only download free presets from trusted sources to avoid these risks.

How to Find Reliable Sources of Free Lightroom Presets

Nature's beauty at its finest
Nature’s beauty at its finest

As we mentioned earlier, free Lightroom presets can be a great way to experiment with different editing styles without breaking the bank. However, not all free presets are created equal. It’s important to find reliable sources of free presets to ensure that you’re not putting your photos and computer at risk. Here are some tips on how to find trustworthy sources of free Lightroom presets:

Researching Credible Websites

One of the best ways to find reliable sources of free Lightroom presets is to research credible websites. Look for websites that are dedicated to photography and photo editing. These sites often feature preset collections created by professional photographers and editors who have years of experience in the industry. Some popular websites for finding free presets include Adobe’s own Lightroom website, FilterGrade, and Presetpro.

Checking Reviews and Ratings

Before downloading any free Lightroom presets, be sure to check the reviews and ratings. Many websites that offer presets have a rating system or comments section where users can leave feedback. Take the time to read through these reviews to get an idea of the quality of the presets and whether other users have experienced any issues with downloading or installing them.

Following Professional Photographers and Bloggers

Another great way to find reliable sources of free Lightroom presets is to follow professional photographers and bloggers. Many photographers and bloggers offer free presets as a way to give back to their followers and community. By following these creators on social media or subscribing to their newsletters, you can stay up-to-date on when they release new presets and get access to their free collections.

By following these tips, you can find reliable sources of free Lightroom presets and experiment with different editing styles with confidence.

Tips for Using Free Lightroom Presets Effectively

When it comes to using free Lightroom presets, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you get the most out of them. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Customizing Presets to Fit Your Style

While presets can be a great time-saver, they should be used as a starting point rather than a final edit. One of the best ways to make free presets work for you is to customize them to fit your style. Adjusting the exposure, contrast, and colors to your liking can help you achieve a unique look that stands out from the crowd.

Avoiding Overuse of Presets

While presets can be a great tool, it’s important to use them sparingly. Applying too many presets to your photos can lead to an over-processed look that can detract from the quality of your images. Instead, use presets as a starting point and make adjustments as needed to achieve the desired effect.

Combining Multiple Presets for Unique Effects

Another way to make free presets work for you is to combine them to achieve unique effects. By layering different presets on top of each other, you can create one-of-a-kind looks that are entirely your own. Just be sure to use a light hand when layering presets to avoid over-processing your images.

In conclusion, using free Lightroom presets can be a great way to streamline your editing workflow and achieve consistent results in your photos. By customizing presets to fit your style, avoiding overuse of presets, and combining multiple presets for unique effects, you can make the most out of your free presets and create stunning images that stand out from the crowd.

Alternatives to Free Lightroom Presets

If you’ve decided that free Lightroom presets aren’t for you, don’t worry. There are several alternatives that can help you achieve the look and style you’re going for in your photos.

Purchasing Premium Presets

One option is to purchase premium Lightroom presets. These are presets that have been created by professional photographers and typically offer more advanced and unique editing options than free presets. Premium presets can be purchased from online marketplaces or directly from the photographer who created them. While they do come with a cost, they can be well worth it if you’re looking for a specific style or want to take your editing to the next level.

Creating Your Own Presets

Another alternative to free presets is to create your own presets. This can be done by saving your own editing adjustments as a preset in Lightroom. By doing so, you can create a custom preset that reflects your unique editing style. This option requires more time and effort than downloading free presets, but it can be a rewarding process that allows you to fully customize your editing workflow.

Using Lightroom’s Built-in Presets

Lastly, don’t forget about Lightroom’s built-in presets. These presets come with the software and can be a great starting point for editing your photos. While they may not offer as much customization as premium or custom presets, they’re a simple and effective way to enhance your images. Plus, they’re already included in your Lightroom subscription, so there’s no additional cost involved.

In conclusion, while free Lightroom presets can be tempting, it’s important to consider the alternatives. Purchasing premium presets, creating your own presets, and using Lightroom’s built-in presets can all offer unique benefits and help you achieve the look and style you’re going for in your photos.


In conclusion, the question “Are Lightroom presets free?” is a complex one. While free presets can be an attractive option for photographers on a budget, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before using them. Free presets can save you money and give you a chance to experiment with different styles and looks. However, they may not always be of the highest quality, and there is a risk of downloading presets that contain malware or viruses.

If you do choose to use free presets, be sure to research reliable sources and check reviews and ratings before downloading. Additionally, remember to use presets wisely and responsibly. Customizing presets to fit your own style and avoiding overuse can help you create unique and professional-looking photos.

Overall, while free Lightroom presets may seem like an attractive option, it’s important to prioritize quality over cost. Consider investing in premium presets or creating your own to ensure that your photos stand out and showcase your unique style. And remember, is here to help you with all your photography needs, from presets to tutorials and more. Happy editing!