Flame Painter 3 from Escape Emotions is a great tool for creating light effects. Essentially it’s painting software with dynamic, animated brushes that allow you to create a variety of light trails.
There are several sliders for editing the various brush dynamics – it’s harder to explain than it is to use but the results are stunning.
Brushes can be pixel or vector based, with the later retaining full edibility of the brush properties so images can be edited at any point in the process.
The software uses many of the same Blending Modes as Photoshop and layers can be easily exported, with transparency, for use in Photoshop compositions.
The Pro version comes with a Photoshop plug-in making it easy to use the 2 in tandem and work directly with your Photoshop image layers.
There’s a demo version to download and try before you buy and also a free online version to experiment with (Flash Player required).
If lighting effect are your thing this software is well worth investigating. For more details visit the Flame Painter website at http://www.escapemotions.com/products/flamepainter/