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About this mod

ULO provides top class visual enhancements to Skyrim with little minimal performance loss. ULO makes Skyrim look just as good on top of the line desktops as it does aging laptops.

Permissions and credits
File of the Month. July 2013.
ReShade 2.0.3 + SweetFX 2.0 profile for SkyrimSE.

Simple Installation Instructions: 

STEP 1: Extract the ULO preset of your choice to your desktop
STEP 2: Run the ReShade + ULO Setup.exe 
STEP 3: Select the SkyrimSE.exe located in Steam/steamapps/common/Skyrim Special Edition. Overwrite existing files if asked.
STEP 4: Run Skyrim! 

Pro Tip: Can be toggled on/off with the scroll lock key. 

To Uninstall go into your Skyrim Special Edition folder and delete:


and the folder called "SweetFX"

If you are having any problems, please make sure you have the latest version of DirectX installed:

Also please note:
Any overlay programs such as nVidia Injector, EVGA Precision or early versions of fraps may interfere with shader injectors.

Latest Update: 

Update 15: ULO 2.0.2 uses (with permission of crosire) a modified ReShade 2.0.3 installer to increase ease of installation.
Update 14: Fix the missing shader issue.
Update 13: 64-bit relaunch of ULO to celebrate the release of Skyrim Special Edition. Completely retooled the lighting enhancements to take advantage of the Special Edition's enhanced visual effects. Reintroduced the Insane preset! 


The Ultimate Lighting Overhaul (ULO) was the first post-processing profile for Skyrim that made full use of SweetFX to enhance the games visual aesthetic instead of using the more widely known ENB series. SweetFX (now better known as part of ReShade) is a post processing suite that allows you to apply filters to your game just like Photoshop. If SweetFX were a video game, ReShade would be the engine that game runs on. It's a bit more complicated than that, but the end result is that ULO dramatically enhances how pretty Skyrim looks.

ReShade has the advantage of being extremely low cost in terms of performance, yet it produces wondrous visual enhancements that compliment the new shadows, depth of field and TSAA of Skyrim Special Edition. 

ULO comes in 4 grades of pretty (and performance cost.)

Lite: Vibrant colors, subtle tint shift and deeper shadows.
Normal: Vibrant colors, subtle tint shift, deeper shadows and less jaggy edges (SMAA.)
Ultra: Vibrant colors, subtle tint shift, deeper shadows, bloom, HDR, and less jaggy edges (SMAA.)
Insane: Vibrant colors, subtle tint shift, deeper shadows, bloom, HDR and TAA support. 
Simply download the version you want and extract into your Skyrim Special Edition main directory.

ULO has been designed to subtly enhance vanilla lighting so as to appear as if the graphic settings have been turned up an extra notch, while being respectful of the games visual aesthetic. This means that anything that changes or enhances lighting 
A picture is worth a thousand words so please enjoy the following video, as well as the screenshot gallery. 


ULO will work with all weather and lighting mods that do not already use an ReShade preset. Mods that already include ReShade are not guaranteed to work with ULO and may require additional work on your end to resolve conflicts. 

You can try to overwrite a previous ReShade preset with ULO but your results may (and will) vary.  


The Ultimate Lighting Overhaul was a winner of July 2013's File of the Month award. Unfortunately much of the Skyrim community had moved on to greener pastures by that time, so not many within the larger Skyrim community have heard about ULO. Nonetheless they have felt its impact. ULO was one of the first mods to abandon ENB, and helped raise awareness of the power and performance of SweetFX. 

I spent months tooling around with SweetFX and it's various settings, learning everything I could about the utility. This was back when SweetFX was a relative newcomer, and there was very little documentation. The result of my experimentation was this lightweight but high impact post-processing enhancement mod that could truly make the boast that it had no significant impact upon performance. 

ULO had the advantage of looking great on top of the line PC's while being light enough to run on an aging laptop. When we launched, ULO caused a huge amount of buzz, a fair amount of controversy, and overnight the Skyrim community was aware of SweetFX. Until that point SweetFX was seen by the Skyrim modding community as a way to add cheap SMAA. Fast forward to today, and almost everyone uses SweetFX to either enhance or substitute ENB. 
I feel no small amount of pride in knowing that this mod was part of the zeitgeist that bring SweetFX to everyone's attention. SweetFX provides an lovely set of paints, and Skyrim makes a beautiful canvas.

Today ULO makes use of ReShade 2.0.3 with the added benefit of the SweetFX 2.0 shader suite. 
Q: I CTD on startup and its all your fault! HALP!
A: Please try the following:

1: Checking to make sure you installed ULO into the right folder.
2: Updating DirectX: Make sure you have the latest version of DirectX:
3: Updating your video drivers
4: Disabling any programs that use an overlay.
5: Disable driver level AA.

If none of that works then your guess is as good as mine. 

Q: Did you make this shader suite?
A: I did not. ULO is simply a config file for SweetFX 2.0 as part of Reshade 2.0.3.

Q: What is SweetFX?
A: SweetFX is a shader suite designed by ULO is just a config preset for his suite that works just like an ENB preset. 
You can find more info on SweetFX here:

Q: What is ReShade?
A: If SweetFX is a video game, ReShade is that games engine. ReShade is what hooks into Skyrim and applies SweetFX's shaders.

Q: This version of ReShade is old!
A: First, that's not a question. Second, I think 2.0.3 is easier to use and install for the average user. ReShade 3.0.5 is amazing but i'm old school and prefer to work purely in .ini files. 

Q: My everything is too light/dark!
A: Adjust the in game brightness to your personal preference. 

Q: Will this work with X Mod?
A: ULO will work in tandem with any mod that attempts to adjust Skyrims lighting via in game settings such as Climates of Tamriel, Real Colors Real Nights, Darker Dungeons, Ultra Realistic World Lighting or mods that replace the lighting models such as Enhanced Lighting and FX or Realistic Lighting Overhaul. ULO will overwrite mods that include SweetFX/ReShade. This should be ok but no one can predict if the result will be pleasing. Also, you may have to do additional work to get ULO to run with ENB but for that you are on your own. 

Q: Will ULO work with RLO or do I have to choose between them?
A: ULO works with any weather or lighting mod that does not already include a ReShade preset. You can try to overwrite a previous ReShade preset with ULO but your results may (and will) vary.  

Q: Can I toggle this on and off like ENB?
A: Yes you can. SweetFX can be toggled on or off with the scroll lock key. 

ULO Settings Config by VoidNull

Please note:
ULO uses SweetFX. SweetFX was created by CeeJayDK.

ULO uses ReShade 2.0.3 by Crosire. 

ReShade website:

Libraries used:
- Frexx CPP by Daniel Stenberg (
- GL3W by Slavomir Kaslev (
- MinHook by Tsuda Kageyu (
- NanoVG by Mikko Mononen (
- STB by Sean Barrett (

With special thanks to:

Billyshakers for his work and research on getting ULO to run with ENB.
Kodiak123 for his work and research on getting ULO to run with ENB. 
Alantor for their tireless enthusiasm, research and support. Alanator has also been an amazing help to me in just how much they have gone out of their way to help other users with their problems. 
TehKaoZ for their support of this mod both enthusiasm and in helping people with technical difficulties.
nu4nc3 for telling me know about some issues with ULO and Exterior Fog Revamped (and interior fog removal).
SnQQpyDog for helping troubleshoot users problems.
And everyone else who has helped answer peoples questions, troubleshoot issues or helped raise awareness of ULO.

Update 1: Due to popular demand I am now working on a more CoT optimized version of ULO. 
Update 2: Version 1.1.0 By popular demand ULO has been redesigned to make better use of Climates of Tamriel.
Update 3: Version 1.1.1 should have better balanced contrast in interiors where it was a little too much, along with a very gentle taps to the brightness and saturation. Also made the Gaussian effect a tiny bit stronger. 
Update 4: Due to popular demand. Work has begun on a RLO optimized version. 
Update 5: version 1.2.0: Campfire Saturation Fix and RLO Optimized optional File. Startup Bug fix. 
Update 6: Work has begun on an optional Insane Pre-set for those who are not so concerned about performance.
Update 7: version 1.2.1: Refined settings to better balance color and brightness for both RLO and ELFX and added Grim settings for people who wish for less saturation
Update 8: Added Alpha build of the Insane Preset for 1.2.1
Update 9: Version 1.2.2: Internal release. Overhauled ULO's file structure and reverted to SweetFX 1.4. 
Update 10: Version 1.3.0: ULO has been rebuilt from the ground up to use SweetFX 1.4 instead of modified version by Boulotaur2024. This should drastically increase compatibility for people still having issues getting ULO to work for them. However, this meant getting rid of the Gaussian Blur shader so all of the settings have been retweaked and new shaders utilized to give you the best visual improvement at the lowest performance hit. Also overhauled the documentation and added the credits from the permissions and credits section on ULO's Nexus page to the readme and description. Added a special thanks section while I was at it.
Update 11: Version 1.3.1: Improved Insane and Ultra detail. Improved all settings performance. Minor enhancement tweaks to Grim and Fantasy Presets (no aesthetic changes were made, only more detail was added). Improved documentation.
Update 12: Better Balanced HDR for snow. Removed the Insane Preset. Insane has been made obsolete by ULO+ which gives better visuals and better performance than Insane. 
Update 13: 64-bit relaunch of ULO to celebrate the release of Skyrim Special Edition. Completely retooled the lighting enhancements to take advantage of the Special Edition's enhanced visual effects. Reintroduced the Insane preset!
Update 14: Fixed the missing shader issue.
Update 15: ULO 2.0.2 now uses (with permission of crosire) a modified ReShade 2.0.3 installer to increase ease of installation.