Lighting is definitely one of the first mod categories you want to install to see drastic improvement to graphics in your game. For Skyrim, lighting falls in two categories–interior and exterior ie weather. For today’s comparison, I will be comparing 5 of the most popular interior lighting mods for skyrim special edition. These are Realistic Lighting Overhaul, Enhanced Lights and FX, Enhanced Lighting for ENB, Relighting Skyrim and Luminosity Lighting Overhaul. If you’re on Oldrim, don’t worry all but the Luminosity are available there as well. Please note that Enhanced Lighting for ENB does NOT require you to install ENB Series alongside it, as can be seen in the footage where I’m not using it.
Note that Enhanced Lights and FX has installation options which allow you to darken the lighting but it appears rather bright in my comparison because I kept most of the default settings. You can also find other mods that can darken the environment so if you like one mod but think it’s too bright, you can easily get around that. RLO and ELFX also have a lot of other installation options so you can also tweak them further. I encourage you to pay attention to the light sources in the scenes as this is where you see the biggest changes in lighting–some mods remove certain lighting sources all together.
Realistic Lighting Overhaul
“Realistic Lighting Overhaul is here! Ready for Skyrim Special Edition! This is a massive overhaul of Skyrim’s lighting. Exteriors also vastly overhauled! No Post Processing – No FPS loss! New features added for SSE – Dwemer Lighting Technology. Check out Understone Keep for an introduction to this feature!” – The Realistic Lighting Team
Download Special Edition: RLO
Download Oldrim: RLO
Enhanced Lights and FX
“Enhanced Lights and FX has the goal to create a more dramatic and realistic mood to the Skyrim lighting.”
“Enhanced Lights and FX has the goal to create a more dramatic and realistic mood to the Skyrim lights by adding lights to all light sources and removing any light without a source, as well as the addition many more effects like smoke, volumic lights, driples, etc. I made some friendly redesigns as needed too, and some redesigns for more dramatic looking.” – anamorphus, Mod Author
Download Special Edition: ELFX
Download Oldrim: ELFX
Enhanced Lighting for ENB
“Lighting changes for all interiors in Skyrim Special Edition.
This version of ELE is a Lite version of the full ELE Suite found at ENBDev. This only includes certain features from all ELE modules into one single .esp plugin.”
“This mod intends to adjust every type of lighting inside the Skyrim game. So it will both look better with ENB and make it a lot easier to customize the visuals, without ruining some parts of the games look.
Which is the case with the vanilla Skyrim lighting in some parts, depending on the 3rd party post-processing tools used.” – –JawZ–, Mod Author
Download Special Edition: ELE
Download Oldrim: ELE
“Fixes the placement and characteristics of lights throughout Skyrim. Aspires to keep the intended vanilla feel, while actually making light come from light sources and not be absurdly bright or dark.”
“Throughout this game I was bothered by the lighting, be it the fires in Dragonsreach, outside High Hrothgar and many other places that make no light,tons of places where light emits from the center of two fires rather than from each one or just from the middle of the room, occasionally necessary (there are limitations) but the vast majority are fixed, as well as the fires outside that don’t light the landscape around it.” – –JawZ– and NovakDalton, Mod Authors
Download Special Edition: RS
Download Oldrim: RS
Luminosity Lighting Overhaul
“An ultra-lightweight mod that simply recolors and enhances vanilla lighting.”
“This mod essentially recolors the vanilla lighting with an ELFX inspired palette while preserving the vanilla signposting (lighting strategy). It does not move or add new bulbs, so you do not have to worry about flickering discos and scripts to alleviate the problem. Luminosity is meant for gameplay and immersion. Light bounces off the environment to fill space, so don’t expect pitch black dungeons. This mod preserves the vanilla light sign posting which is meant to help guide you through interiors. Furthermore, it is all built on a single set of imagespace settings (ie contrast, brightness, saturation), making it an ideal interior lighting mod for ENB creation as it offers phenomenal consistency. In the version within Cathedral Project, there is also a power to adjust interior brightness to your liking.” – JonnyWang, Mod Author
Download Special Edition: LLO