My very light-skinned character I have- not really as a matter of importance, but simply like you'd mention the fact that they have blonde hair or brown eyes. I'm simply wondering if there was a more effective way of mentioning it or portraying it than I already have.
The good thing about a term like "light skinned" is that it can apply to any ethnicity. Some people are more pale than others within their own colour of skin. It doesn't actually imply a race.
I can think of only one time that I've made race important and that is when writing about a character in China, surrounded by Chinese people and the character in question is not Chinese.
On the whole, I find mentioning race or skin colour a little tacky. Race can be implied without being explicit. In the case I mentioned above, it's safe to assume that the main character is not Chinese because A) She lives in small town Australia B) Her birth name is Rebecca Williams D) She's only ever seen speaking English C) When she is in China, surrounded by Chinese people she feels isolated. A lot of this implies that she is probably Caucasian but I never felt the need to confirm or deny that.
The best I can suggest is that you absolutely have to make a point of it, describe in terms of ethnicity and not colour, be delicate and don't make it into a big deal, if you can imply it without having to state it explicitly then do that and if that's absolutely impossible then work it into some kind of narration or description about the character as a whole.
Well, just write the character as he is. The majority of black people in the community make the rest of us black people look bad, leading to stereotypes and hate (in some cases). Anyway, it doesn't matter how you write him as long as he fits with the plot.