ACDSee has a range of lighting tools, allowing you to approach your adjustment from a variety of angles. The software is known for its patented lighting technology called Light EQ.

This technology makes it possible to adjust specific areas in images that are too dark or too light without affecting other areas. You can simultaneously lighten dark areas that are too dark and darken areas that are too bright. If the foreground subject is backlit, you can easily lighten that subject up without blowing out the background. For a quick adjustment, this technology can be found in Edit mode’s 1-Step lighting tool within the Light EQ tool, which makes it possible for users to merely open an image and have it intuitively improved automatically.

Light EQ technology also powers View mode’s Auto EQ. This tool allows for users to press the Auto EQ button and view their image with an automatic exposure boost, commitment-free. What does commitment-free mean? It means that you can see what your image would look like with responsive lighting correction without saving the correction or even entering Edit mode. This makes it easy to determine which images in your collection could benefit from adjustment as you browse, expediting your cataloging and organizing process.

This tutorial will discuss how to use Standard, one of the lighting tools found in Edit mode, powered by Light EQ. Standard works like a sound equalizer, but with light. You can adjust the brightness and contrast of different tone bands of the image (areas of relative brightness or darkness) independently using a slider for each tone band.


To start, open an image that could use lighting correction or enhancement in Edit mode. Open the Light EQ tool. At the top of the Light EQ tool, choose the Standard tab.


A graph shows the amount of brightening or darkening applied throughout the tonal range of your image. The gray areas in the graph indicate suggested boundaries for adjustment to help you avoid clipping and loss of detail. They turn red to indicate where you have adjusted the sliders far enough to cause clipping.

There are two sets of sliders. The top is for brightening and the lower for darkening. The gradient on each slider indicates a tone band, which you may choose to darken or lighten by moving it up or down.

You can also make adjustments by left-clicking your mouse on the image and dragging upwards to brighten the dark areas. Conversely, you can right-click and drag down to darken bright areas.

However, before you get into doctoring things on a finer level, you may opt to simply press the Auto button. When you press the Auto button, Light EQ technology automatically analyzes the image and lightens or darkens accordingly. It may be that once you have pressed this, only a few minor tweaks, if any, are necessary.


As Auto worked so well with this image, we don’t need to adjust as many tone bands to make it perfect. You can adjust the number of tone bands to fine-tune the brightness ranges you desire to change by selecting a number from the # Tone Bands drop-down menu below the sliders. 


Play with the sliders until you find the perfect balance between dark and light.


We can see our before and after by pressing the Show Previous button at the bottom left of the image. 

Sunbeams in a forest

Sunbeams in a forest

  1. One of the best tools on the market & one of the easiest to use.

  2. Tomas Loewy says:

    great… could you in the same detail discuss the ‘Advanced’ mode? thanks

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