Lightning Review 2024: What It Is, How to Use It & Is It Worth It?

Deploy and ship full-stack AI products without cloud headaches.

Lightning logo

Develop models and AI products

Train and deploy any PyTorch model

Scale foundation models with expert-level control

Lightning Description

Lightning is a platform that allows you to deploy and ship full-stack AI products. It's designed to handle the complexities of deploying and auto-scaling stable diffusion servers, making it easier for teams to develop models and AI products without the usual cloud headaches. This platform is built on PyTorch Lightning, which means you can train and deploy any PyTorch model, including LLMs, transformers, and Stable Diffusion, without the boilerplate. It also offers the ability to scale foundation models with expert-level control and provides over 90 easy-to-use PyTorch metrics optimized for scale. The platform is open-source and has been used in over 17,000 projects, making it a popular choice for AI development.

Starting price


  • Free plan
  • Paid
  • Free trial

Lightning Detailed Review

So, what's the real deal with Lightning? Well, it's all about simplifying the process of developing, training, and deploying AI models. This platform is a great fit for teams that want to focus on building AI without the usual cloud-related headaches. It's also a great tool for those who want to use their own data across various services like S3, Snowflake, BigQuery, and more. Everything runs on your cloud account on your private VPC, which gives you a lot of control and security.

One of the major pros of Lightning is its open-source nature. With over 17,000 projects using it, you're joining a large community of developers who are constantly improving and expanding the platform. It's also built on PyTorch Lightning, which is a well-respected framework in the AI community. This means you can train and deploy any PyTorch model without the boilerplate, which can save you a lot of time and effort.

However, no tool is perfect, and Lightning is no exception. While it's great for teams that are already familiar with PyTorch, it will not be a good fit for those who prefer other frameworks. Also, while it does a lot to simplify the process of developing and deploying AI, there's still a learning curve involved, especially for those new to AI.

Now, let's talk about pricing. Lightning works on a credit system and offers a generous free plan with 30 free credits per month. This is great for users on a budget and those who just want to try out the platform. If you decide you like it, you can purchase more credits in a pay-as-you-go fashion.

In conclusion, Lightning Apps is a solid platform for teams looking to develop, train, and deploy AI models. It's open-source, built on a respected framework, and designed to simplify the process. However, its suitability will depend on your familiarity with PyTorch and your willingness to navigate the learning curve.