The high-light-induced alterations in photosynthetic performance of photosystem II (PSII) and photosystem I (PSI) as well as effectiveness of dissipation of excessive absorbed light during illumination for different periods of time at room (22 °C) and low (8-10 °C) temperature of leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana, wt and lut2, were followed with the aim of unraveling the role of lutein in the process of photoinhibition. Photosynthetic parameters of PSII and PSI were determined on whole leaves by PAM fluorometer and oxygen evolving activity-by a Clark-type electrode. In thylakoid membranes, isolated from non-illuminated and illuminated for 4.5 h leaves of wt and lut2 the photochemical activity of PSII and PSI and energy interaction between the main pigment-protein complexes was determined. Results indicate that in non-illuminated leaves of lut2 the maximum rate of oxygen evolution and energy utilization in PSII is lower, excitation pressure of PSII is higher and cyclic electron transport around PSI is faster than in wt leaves. Under high-light illumination, lut2 leaves are more sensitive in respect to PSII performance and the extent of increase of excitation pressure of PSII, ΦNO, and cyclic electron transport around PSI are higher than in wt leaves, especially when illumination is performed at low temperature. Significant part of the excessive light energy is dissipated via mechanism, not dependent on ∆pH and to functioning of xanthophyll cycle in LHCII, operating more intensively in lut2 leaves.