Best Skyrim Lighting Mods Worth Trying (All Free)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Lighting may not feel all that important in the grand scheme of things.
But once you try out some of these addons, you’ll see why these are so popular.
Lighting mods are great to improve any game’s visuals, but they’re even more important for older games like Skyrim.
And with the following mods, you’ll be able to improve on the game’s visuals so much that it’ll start feeling like Skyrim doesn’t really need a remake. OK that’s too far, it still definitely needs a remake.
But with these lighting adjustments, you might not need that remake as much as you thought before.
7. Subliminal Lighting
Changes don’t always need to be massive to be good, as proven by the Subliminal Lighting mod.
Unlike most options here, Subliminal Lighting doesn’t overhaul the entire Skyrim lighting system – opting instead to introduce some choice changes that affect where light falls, just to look more natural.
Small choice changes, sure, but with amazing results.
Install and boot up a save file to see for yourself.
6. Darkness – Vanilla Lighting Tweaks
You came here for the lighting mods.
But we’re giving you a darkness mod… subverted expectations!
Jokes aside, this light tweak mod is well worth trying out.
It aims (and fully achieves) to improve immersion by enhancing lighting at night, and inside dark interiors, without overhauling the entire lighting system.
The end results are so good, that I now only adventure when it’s dark. It just looks so great.
5. Luminosity Lighting Overhaul
There are two types of lighting mods out there:
Ones that overhaul the system introducing all sorts of incredible features, and ones that prefer to tweak select things to improve what the developers worked so hard on.
Luminosity Lighting belongs to this second category.
Or rather, it dominates that category. Because the small changes you get just from this simple recoloring of the vanilla lighting system goes a long way to improve immersion.
And this mod really makes Skyrim look new & exciting once again.
4. Surreal Lighting
Skyrim is, in all honesty, a pretty grim-looking game by default.
And it really couldn’t have been any other way, considering the world is on the brink of destruction.
If you really had enough with all the greyness that dominates Skyrim’s countryside and towns, you have to download the Surreal Lighting Mod and give it a try.
Thanks to this mod, Skyrim as a whole will become more vibrant and more colorful, featuring a more fantasy-like atmosphere that’ll make you forget about the brutality that’s gripping the land.
And if you’re into this look you might also check out some custom ENBs too.
3. HDR Lighting and Weather Enhancement
A true High Dynamic Range experience without an HDR compatible display. Is it possible?
Yes – because mods can really make the impossible happen.
RCNR AE is the shorter name for this mod, and it’s just incredible.
It creates a realistic color palette that feels as vibrant as it would with proper HDR support.
And you might not be able to tell much from the previews, so definitely install this baby and see what you think. Seeing is believing, in this case.
2. Realistic Lighting Overhaul
Enough with the small changes that show proper respect to the developer’s hard work.
The time has come to overhaul everything!
Realistic Lighting Overhaul is among the most popular lighting mods ever made for Skyrim, and there are a few good reasons for why.
But basically, this complete overhaul features thousands of changes to the vanilla game’s lighting system that required five different iterations to reach perfection.
And if you’re worried that these changes will make Skyrim run poorly on your system, fret not. Since every change is made taking the original lighting system limitations into account, so you won’t see your FPS drop much (if at all).
An excellent mod if you want to adjust the lighting, but also want to consider performance too.
1. Enhanced Lighting For ENB
The Enhanced Lighting For ENB add-on may not be as comprehensive as some other mods…
But it comes with something that’s quite lore-friendly to Skyrim:
The power of choice.
The great thing about this ENB is how highly customizable it is, since you can tweak pretty much all values with the help of any post-processing tool like ENBSeries, ReShade, or SweetFX.
So if you think something looks off for some reason, you can just tweak it yourself, instead of shouting at the monitor and hoping the modder will somehow hear you.
Ultimately it’s your game, so letting you take control of the lighting just seems to fit like a glove.