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About this mod

Explore Skyrim's dungeons in realistic, immersive, complete darkness. This mod dynamically turns out lights as you enter a dungeon based on very detailed MCM settings. It is compatible with any lighting mod, almost any added dungeon by other mods, and gives you complete control over level of light or dark in your dungeon exploration.

Permissions and credits
Get the SE version HERE
Dynamic Immersive Seriously Dark Dungeons

(Eternal Darkness Redone)

This mod is a complete rebuild of Eternal Darkness originally developed by tonycubed2 and myself.   Discover the sheer immersion and intensity of exploring Skyrim's crypts, ruins, forts and ruins in realistic utter complete darkness.  This mod will completely change the way you explore dungeons in Skyrim.

  • Lights, fires, candles, torches, glowing fogs and all the other things that light up the dungeons of Skyrim are scanned upon entering each dungeon and disabled according to MCM preferences.  Once the scan is done for each dungeon, no active scripts are running.
  • Individual settings for dwarven ruins, nordic ruins, caves, give you complete control over just how dark your dungeon exploration will be and what actor types use what type of lighting.
  • Areas occupied by NPCs will still have lighting, but you have control over lighting range and overall coverage within NPC occupied zones.  Actor Type lighting preferences for Humans, Draugr, Dwarven Automatons, Falmer, Hargraven, Riekling and Vampires let you tailor your immersion according to your preferences.
  • Careful attention has been made to maintain all naturally occurring lighting effects.  This includes sunlight, mists and fogs lit by sunlight, glowing mushrooms, magic glows and effects for the ultimate Skyrim exploration experience.
  • This works for dungeons added by other mods, as long as those dungeons are using vanilla assets (i.e. this works very well for Forgotten Dungeons by Juhaantero68)
  • It also works with lighting mods, as long as those lighting mods use vanilla assets (i.e. works with Relighting Skyrim by NovakDalton).  For ELFX, use the provided ELFX Patch esp included in the main download.

The net effect is one where you will find realistic lighting in areas occupied by NPCs, with specific settings controllable by you.  However, as you move further into the depths, the darkness will close in around you, engulf you, and you'd better have a good supply of torches or other lighting sources.

Check out the video by Tonycubed2 of Sands of Time acclaim. 


  1. New Game is NOT required.  However, I strongly recommend you back-up your save in case you do not like this mod.  It uses scripts that will need to be removed using a save game script cleaner.
  2. Skyrim Legendary Edition
  3. Skyrim Script Extender
  4. USLEP - required for corrected actor and location keywords used in script logic for this mod (not set as master - USLEP is only required for proper functioning of this mod.  If you happen to be running the old Unofficial Patches, it should still work).
  5. One of the complimentary lighting mods listed below is REQUIRED to get the desired effect with this mod.  Standard Skyrim Imagespaces are very bright otherwise, and your dungeons will not be dark unless you use one of the below recommended options.

Complimentary Lighting Mods (one of these is required)

  1. Enhanced Light and Effects by anamorfus.  Must be installed with the ELFX enhancer.  If you do not like the enhancer, then use Enhanced Lighting for ENB (ELE Lite) in its place.  Do not install the Hardcore module.  If you want Hardcore, then use the Hardcore Replacer available as an option in the FOMOD installer for this mod.  If you install with the ELFX Candlesmoke enabled, ensure you check the ELFX Candlesmoke option in the DISDD MCM menu.
  2. Relighting Skyrim by NovakDalton.  Must also be used with Enhanced Lighting for ENB (ELE Lite)
  3. Enhanced Lighting for ENB (ELE Lite) by JawZ.  Use if no other lighting mod is used.  May also be used in place of the ELFX Enhancer.  ELE Lite must be placed low in your load order below DISSD.
  4. Realistic Lighting Overhauls (RLO) by sydney 666.    ELE Lite not needed with this.
  5. Your favorite ENB that darkens interior dungeons.  May also be used in combination with one of the above.

Other Complimentary Mods

  1. Simple Drop Lit Torches by Snotgurg - frees up your 2nd hand in combat while keeping the immediate area lit
  2. Wearable Lanterns by Chesko - a good realism compromise if you don't like managing a torch supply.
  3. Sands of Time and/or Genesis by Tonycubed2 - these make dungeon exploration MUCH more challenging and intense - I have tested this mod with both running - highly recommended!
  4. Skyrim Underground by AncientKane - use the Compatibility Patch in Optional Files


  1. Normal install using Mod Organizer (recommended) or your favorite mod manager
  2. Ensure JBMod.esp is enabled in your load order
  3. If using ELFX 3.0+, do not install the ELFX Hardcore Module.  Download and install the ELFX 3 patch in the Optional Files.  If using ELFX 2.0, no patch is required, but ensure you install the Enhancer.

Load Order

  1. LOOT typically sorts correctly
  2. Ensure assets (left side of Mod Organizer) load after SMIM, Ruins Clutter Improved, Embers HD
  3. ELE Lite (if used) should be loaded after JBMod.esp

How the Mod Works
The goal of this mod is to dynamically set realistic lighting in Skyrim's dungeons, and to allow you to have some control over what "realistic" means.  Think of dungeons as having occupied areas and unoccupied areas.  Areas can be occupied by humans, Draugr, Dwemer Automatons, Falmer, Hargraven, Riekling and Vampires.  Humans are most likely to use light.  You may be a strict believer in lore, believing that Draugr maintain all of those lights in their crypt, Falmer too despite their being completely blind.  If you do, then the MCM settings give you full control of your lore.  If, however, you find Skyrim's lighting in Dungeons to be completely unrealistic, then this mod allows you to turn everything off, providing a completely dark and creepy experience in exploring Skyrim's dungeons.

The mod scans the dungeon upon entry.  When scanning for lights, it uses the MCM settings for nearby NPCs and the location type to determine whether or not that light should be turned on or off.  If an NPC is nearby, then the NPC Overrides settings in the MCM determine whether or not that NPC is likely to be maintaining that light.  If an NPC is not nearby, then the Location Type Overrides in the MCM is used to determine whether or not the light is turned off.

Here are the details:
MCM Options
Basic Configuration

  1. Mod is Enabled (enabled by default) - Check to enable or disable the mod.  Disabling the mod will not reset any dungeon lights that have already been disabled during a dungeon scan.  To reset any lighting, you first must use the "Reset Dungeon" option below and then disable the mod.
  2. Do Fadeout on Dungeon Entry (enabled by default) - the Fadeout causes the screen to remain blacked out for a few seconds after the dungeon loads.  This is to allow for the initial scans to complete, disabling nearby lights.  The player is frozen, but NPC AI is not disabled.  This is to save time on the fadeout.  In all of my testing, the frozen NPC does not trigger any discovery by hostile NPCs.  However, please let me know if you find any dungeons where this causes a problem.  It can be disabled if the Fadeout becomes a problem.
  3. Disable lights in Dwarven Ruins? (enabled by default) - uncheck this, and the scan will not run at all for Dwarven Ruins.
  4. Mod Presets (default is Realistic Dark) - various presets Milk Drinker, Lore Drinker, Realistic Dark, and Hardcore Dark.  Use these settings to experiment with different levels, and then customize by setting your own overrides below.
  5. NPC Scan Distance (default 3500) - this is the value in Skyrim distance units that is used to scan for NPCs near a light source.  If an NPC found within the Scan Distance of a light source, then the light source is determined to be in an Occupied Area, and the probability of that light staying lit will be determined by the Occupied Area Lighting Probability or the Actor Type Overrides below.  If no NPCs are found within the Scan Distance, then the light source is said to be in an Unoccupied Area, and the Unoccupied Area Lighting Probability or the Location Type Overrides will determine the probability that the lighting source is lit.  Recommend setting in the range of 2,000-4,000.  Above 4,000 and you will start to see lights in unoccupied areas due to NPCs in levels above or nearby with the twisting and turning of Skyrim's dungeons.
  6. Occupied Area Lighting Probability (default 100%) - this is the maximum probability lights will be turned on in a area found to be occupied by NPCs.  This value is overridden by the Actor Type Overrides below.
  7. Unoccupied Area Lighting Probability (default 0%) - this is the minimum probability lights will be turned on in an area found not to be occupied by NPCs.  This value is overridden by the Location Type Overrides below.
  8. Papyrus Debug Mode (default off) - Check this to enable logging of mod activity in the Papyrus logs.  Note that you must enable Papyrus logging in your skyrim.ini.
  9. Notification Level (default Minimal) - Set this to None, Minimal, or Detailed depending on the level of on-screen notifications you want to see regarding mod scanning activity.
  10. Reset Current Dungeon - You must be inside the dungeon you wish to reset.  Check this option, and then exit the MCM menu.  This re-enables all lights and light sources that have been disabled by this mod for the current dungeon.  This is useful if you want to change the MCM options and re-scan the dungeon.  You have to then exit the dungeon and reenter.  If you are uninstalling, you have to reset each dungeon individually before disabling the mod and uninstalling.

Location Type Overrides

Recommend experimenting with the Presets above to get familiar with the effect of different overrides.  

For both Override sections, lighting is categorized as either a Fire, Candle or Dwemer light type.  Location Overrides specify the minimum probability that the specified light type will be lit in an Unnocupied Area (see NPC Scan Distance above).  For example, if you think that Dwemer ruins should have some percentage of Dwemer lighting lit regardless of whether or not any NPCs are found nearby, then you might set this to 20%

  1. Default Location Types - Set the location override for Unoccupied Area lighting for each light type for any dungeon that does not fall into one of the below categories.
  2. Cave Location Types - Set the location override for Unoccupied Area lighting for each light type within Caves
  3. Dwarven Ruin Location Types - Set the same parameters for Dwarven Ruins
  4. Nordic Ruin Location Types - Set the same parameters for Nordic Ruins

Actor Type Overrides

Actor Type Overrides specify the probability that the specified light type will be lit in an Occupied Area that is occupied by the specified Actor Type.  Experiment with these settings to set actor type preferences for a particular lighting type.  For example, if you believe that Dwemer Automatons maintain Dwemer Lighting in areas in which they occupy, then set this to a high percentage.   Likewise, if you believe Draugr maintain fires and/or candles, then set these parameters higher.

Actor Types are as follows:

  1. Default - Any NPC actor type (primarily humans) that are not listed below (ghosts and dead people excluded).  Default is 100% for Fire & Candles, 0% for Dwemer.  If you think humans are smart enough to make Dwemer lighting operational, then you can increase this.  Also, if you want overall darker occupied zones, then set the Fire & Candles to 50-75%.
  2. Draugr - Lore-mongers think Draugr maintain lights in Nordic Ruins, but I don't buy it.  Default is set to 0%, but try setting Draugr preferences for fire to 20-50% if you believe in the Lore.
  3. Dwarven Automatons - Default is 0% for all types.  If you believe the automatons maintain Dwemer lighting, then you can set Dwemer to your preference.  Personally, I wouldn't go above 50%.
  4. Falmer - Blind creatures, so why would they need ANY light?  Default is 0% for all light types.
  5. Hargraven - Default is 100% for candles, 25% for fire and 0% for Dwemer lighting.  Hargraven need those candles for their rituals, probably some fire as well, but what would they do with Dwemer lighting? 
  6. Riekling - Default is 100% for fire or candles, 0% for Dwemer.  Feel free to adjust to your preferences.
  7. Vampires - Default is 100% for candles, 0% for other light types.  Vampires hate light, so feel free to adjust the candles down to the ~50% range.
You can use the override settings to get creative in controlling the lighting for different dungeons.  For example, you might set Vampires to only use minimal candle lighting and no other light types.  Hargraven may have a propensity for lots of candles and some fire.  Riekling may be the opposite.

Keep in mind that the more Actor Type / Light Type combinations you set, it will have a slight impact on how long the scans run when you enter each dungeon.

  1. (Optional) Reset lighting in any dungeons by entering each dungeon and using the "Reset Current Dungeon" option in the MCM Menu.
  2. Exit any dungeon you are in.
  3. Save Game
  4. Uninstall using Mod Organizer or whatever mod manager you are using.
  5. Fix your save using Save Game Script Cleaner by Hadoram (all scripts/instances are prefixed by "jbMO")

  1. Tonycubed2 for the inspiration for this mod and for crucial help and feedback along the way
  2. - for the crucial scripting reference
  3. Mod authors Chesko, kuertee, and borgut1337 for making their Mods' script source code available for reference (none of their work exists in this mod, but seeing how they code in Papyrus helped me significantly).
  4. anamorfus for ELFX and for permission to use his Hardcore module to make my ELFX Patch.
  5. Of course, Bethesda - for making Skyrim open for mod'ing - keeps me playing.