Add a Warm Glow with a Lighted Gingerbread House

Learning how to make a lighted gingerbread house is MUCH easier than you might think! Lights add such a special extra touch to a gingerbread house! Think it's too difficult? Read on!

The basic idea is that you place any small light right inside the gingerbread house and run the electrical cord through a back window, door, or you can even make a small groove low on the back panel. The trick is planning ahead!

Photo from UTube Video Parsons 2006 - video link below

Possible Light Sources

  • Small strand of Christmas Lights (my preferred method)
  • Small Night light on an extension cord.
  • Christmas Candle-style light (If the house is tall enough)
  • Any other small light that doesn't get too hot.

You can always try out your method on a cardboard version of your house to see if enough light will come through your windows and doors. Remember to account for a dimming effect if you fill your windows with candy "glass."

How and When to Place Lights

The most important lighting tip is to plan ahead! When you've cut out your house's back panel, cut an extra groove (or window) very low on the middle-back panel. Remember to make it large enough (or high enough) so that the icing glue that holds the back panel to it's foundation (board or tray) will not entirely fill in the groove and there will still be room above the icing for the cord to come through.

Place your light inside the gingerbread house BEFORE or AS you construct the house with the icing "glue." If you forget, you'll need a large enough opening (or a small enough light) to fit the entire light fixture (rather than just the electrical cord) through a back window or door.

You can later disguise the cord with nearby landscaping decorations (candies and cookies of course!)

If you forget (or change your mind,) your best bet for gingerbread house lighting is to use a small Christmas light strand and feed it through one of the back windows.

Watch a How-to Video for Lighting

Want some inspiration? Check out these Videos of Lighted Gingerbread Houses!


The windows really make a lighted gingerbread house special. If you leave the windows bare (without "glass") the lights and method of lighting inside will be visible to the viewer outside. If the windows are filled with candy glass, you'll end up with a beautiful glow to your house.

Click here to learn how to make candy windows!

Have fun making your lighted gingerbread house! Make sure not to leave the lights on unattended though or you may find your OWN house lighted... by fire!

Please share photos of your gingerbread house ... with or without lights!

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