Create the effect of light in the windows of a building with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

Book titled “Rustico Italia” sits on a wooden table next to a latte.

What you'll need

This sample file is an Adobe Stock image you can use to practice what you learn in this tutorial. If you want to use the sample file beyond this tutorial, you can purchase a license on Adobe Stock. Check out the ReadMe file in the folder for the terms that apply to your use of this sample file.


Click the + icon and then add the sample photo, or use your own.

Start with a photo of a building at dusk with a cool evening light outside.

Italian buildings at dusk appear dark.

Choose the Brush tool to isolate the area you want to brighten. Set the brush size to fit the area you want to adjust, and then brush over the window. Use the O key on your keyboard to toggle the red overlay to see the areas you have brushed.

Brush tool is used to isolate a window to brighten. A red overlay shows the brushed-in areas.

Increase the Temp and Tint to adjust the white balance. Then increase the Exposure to create the effect of a warm light coming from the window.

Temp and Tint are adjusted and the window now projects a warm light.

Brush over different parts of the photo to apply the same settings. Or, click the + icon in the Brush panel to apply new settings to different parts of the photo.

A second window is brushed over and the same effects are applied. It appears that a light is on in the window.

See the effect that some quick local adjustments can make to your photos.

Before: Italian buildings at dusk appear dark. After: Retouching effects make windows appear to glow with warm light.

Now you can add a bit of light to your architectural photos. For more detailed information on using the Brush tool, or other selective editing tools, check out the Make selective edits tutorial.


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