How do the Amish light their homes without public electricity? Here are three of the most common sources of lighting used by the Amish:
1. Propane or Natural Gas Lights
One of the most common sources of illumination. Gas-powered lights may be built into the architecture of the home, or may be freestanding. One of the most typical lights used in family rooms is a tall rolling light with the propane tank enclosed in the wooden base. Wheels allow it to be moved around the room to position it for optimum lighting. Smaller gas lights can be hung from the ceiling. Special metal shields prevent the ceiling from getting too hot.
2. Kerosene Lamps
The more conservative Amish tend to use kerosene-powered lamps. The teardrop glass wick lamp provides a nice glow, though doesn’t generate nearly as much light (or heat) as the above. As a liquid that can be spilled, kerosene can sometimes start fires.
3. Battery-powered lights
Flashlights and other battery-powered lighting are also quite common, especially in mainstream or more progressive Amish abodes. Dewalt lights (called Dewalt for the company brand name) can stand on their own and contain a rechargeable battery in the flat base. These provide a powerful lighting source. They typically have hooks which can be used to hang them from the ceiling. Battery-powered LED bedside lamps, providing dim light for reading, are also common.
Erik Wesner writes about the Amish in print and online. His first book, Success Made Simple: An Inside Look at Why Amish Businesses Thrive was based on 60 interviews Erik conducted with Amish business owners, as well as his own experiences living and working in Amish communities from Pennsylvania to Iowa. He has contributed to Amish-themed articles featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and other print media. He also has served as a consultant for numerous authors of Amish fiction and non-fiction and writes the Amish America blog. His upcoming book is called 50 Fascinating Amish Facts.
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