13 responses to 5 Ways Amish Light Their Homes
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    Comment on Lighting (May 29th, 2015 at 08:27)


    And where or how are the rechargeable batteries recharged? Some diesel-powered charger?

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      Comment on 5 Ways Amish Light Their Homes (May 29th, 2015 at 09:42)

      Carol, Either by solar panels or off the generator. Most of us use a generator to run our washing machine so at the same time we plug in the battery charger.Or if we work somewhere at a place with electric, we may charge them at work.

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        Comment on 5 Ways Amish Light Their Homes (May 29th, 2015 at 10:36)

        Sorry if this seems too judgmental, but isn’t charging your battery on your employer’s electricity not too much different from taking office supplies or bringing your home garbage to the employer’s dumpster? Just sayin…..

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          Comment on charging at work (May 29th, 2015 at 11:09)

          charging at work

          Never thought of that … I personally don’t do it , but I know of a few who do. Of course they would ask permission and offer to pay for whatever electricity is used. I can see where it would seem like we’re taking advantage. Hopefully everyone who uses this route has a satisfactory agreement with their employer, so no hard feelings are caused.

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          Mark – Holmes Co.
          Comment on 5 Ways Amish Light Their Homes (May 29th, 2015 at 11:22)

          Good point, Carol. Though Rebecca & I live in the same community, I’ll admit I did not realize that some people charge batteries at work, though where I work it is not uncommon to charge rechargeable bike lights at work, especially during the winter when you might find your light fading on your way to work and know it’s not a good idea to bike home in the dark. (And management gives permission for that.)
          At our home we have a few battery charging options. Like Rebecca wrote, we can charge batteries while the generator is running. Ours is set up so that anytime the generator is running, it is charging the two batteries that are hooked up to an inverter. (They run my WP, photocopier, a bathroom light and a below-septic-tank-level toilet and a few other small things.) We use solar panels, too, but that is mostly to run the electric fence in the pasture and a light in our phone shack. The third option is our freezer shack. A non-Amish neighbor owns it and rents the space to several Amish families and we keep our electric freezer in it. There are 12-volt battery chargers and outlets for rechargeable power tools and we pay a fee for keeping the freezer there and we are responsible for the electric bills, so though the owner isn’t getting rich, he is still being compensated for the use of the building etc. and some extra on top for being a helpful neighbor. 🙂 And since they have a freezer there, too, we like to share the bounty with them as well.
          In our community the DeWalt type lights are not often seen. In fact I can only think of one family that I know of who has one, but 12-volt battery cabinet lights are common. There you have your battery in a wooden cabinet (often with a magazine rack or the like attached) and because it’s on casters it can be rolled anywhere you want.

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    Comment on 5 Ways Amish Light Their Homes (May 29th, 2015 at 10:32)

    About five years ago I was looking at a property for sale in Perry County. It was an Amish family that was moving and the place was for sale. The family made straw hats and had a workshop above the stable. There was a block building located about 100 yards from the house that housed a large diesel generator. The house had skylights. The electrical wiring in this place was a nightmare. Wires were stapled to walls and naked light bulbs popped out here and there. Very dangerous I thought. Certainly not up to code anywhere in the world.

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    Comment on 5 Ways Amish Light Their Homes (May 29th, 2015 at 12:19)

    I suppose I’ll never understand this. While I’m not the biggest fan of electricity due to the harm I believe it causes the body, I’m even less a fan of propane and kerosene in the home. I don’t understand the deterrent to being on-grid if the Amish rely on other English products to live. Doctors are used. Factory-made cloth is used. Many Amish use canned foods, flours, etc. all made by non-Amish people. I feel that so many of these things (not the doctors) are so far from how God really wants us to live. Linen and wool were worn in biblical times because they are both incredibly healing (just not when woven together–the frequencies cancel each other out). The cotton poly-blends typically used for clothing are draining on the body. You’d think that a people group that keeps God as the center of their lives would try to live closer to the way people lived in the Bible.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the Amish way of life overall. There are just many details within that lifestyle I don’t understand.

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    Comment on 5 Ways Amish Light Their Homes (May 29th, 2015 at 13:26)

    What an interesting article, and the ideas expressed in the replies have been interesting too.

    I grew up with the idea that not using grid electricity would save energy and money, and now, being the one who pays the bills, I am keen in seeing if living in a on-grid, yet intentionally dimly lit space would same me money (turning off all but one or two lights, and opening the blind to let natural light in when I am home), I shall see next month when the utility bill comes in. I am conducting a bit of an experiment…. (admittedly, I had the two main built in lights going in my apartment all day when I was in my space, now, I’m using two plug in lamps, perhaps not a lot of difference.)

    I’m not going to say that the Amish homes are poorly lit, I’ve really never been in one, but judging by what we’ve seen in AA pictures in earlier articles are fairly bright places, battery light or generator, they certainly aren’t stumbling in the dark in a lot of instances (also in the day time a lot of Amish people are outside anyway, not to stereotype anyone, but….)

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      Comment on 5 Ways Amish Light Their Homes (May 31st, 2015 at 15:00)

      Re saving electricity, we purchased an item called kill-o-watt which can be put on each electrical appliance to calculate the costs. Your biggest items are televisions (instant-in means they are always on, even when the screen is off), computers, refrigerators, electric heaters and air conditioners, and incandescent bulbs.

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    Alice Mary
    Comment on Illuminating post! (June 1st, 2015 at 11:51)

    Illuminating post!

    A very interesting post!

    The library I work at has 2 Kill-o-Watt devices which we check out for free (3 weeks at a time), so anyone interested in calculating their various electrical appliance costs might want to check with their library, first.

    On the other hand, we have problems with people “plugging in” anywhere and everywhere in our library, which I personally think is rude (besides, our library is run with tax dollars, so it’s ultimately taxpayers of our district footing the electric bills). They mostly charge cell phones and computers. We have to tell them not to, because they lay their cords all over the floor–our insurance company doesn’t like those kind of “trip hazards”, so we try to make sure they only use the outlets provided in our individual study carrels (tutors complain there’s not enough room for tutor and student–that’s life! Besides, the tutors are paid by students, but they use the library space FREE). What really irritates me is that the people using our outlets have to remove the child-resistant plastic plugs in order to use the outlets (most disappear)! There are even people who move books around to access outlets in walls behind the books (used for vacuuming, electrical tools). I am usually the one checking these things, since I work in the children’s dept. and don’t want any injuries on my watch!

    I must admit I’d use more solar/battery power for light if I knew what I was doing (using solar to recharge batteries)! I only experienced (indoors) a gas, mantel lamp once. WOW! Lots of light, alright, but WAY too much heat for my liking! Walking under it, I feared my hair might ignite!

    Alice Mary

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    Carolyn B
    Comment on 5 Ways Amish Light Their Homes (September 10th, 2015 at 17:20)

    Like other commenters, I’m impressed with this article. #3 option is my favorite.

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    Comment on Really? (May 22nd, 2017 at 00:48)


    The things which Amish fight over seem very petty, inconsequential and paranoid. What does one expect from a cloistered society, scratch that, I’m gonna call it a cult?
    Beard cutting attacks? I thought the Amish were pacifists!
    The fact is all religion is hypocritical even among the “chosen” Amish.
    I think even if there is a god, he has surely turned his back on humanity by now. Religion is a manmade concept. Atheism is the only logical way to live one’s life, whether you think there’s a supreme being or not.
    But, there’s a certain bliss to believing in the best selling work of fiction ever written and decided that you are one of the chosen ones who have just managed to decipher the Bible better than anyone else.
    The whole premise of the Amish way of life is denial.
    Although I consider the study of psychology to be in much need of refinement yet, denial and delusion are two habits that are clearly very emotionally unhealthy.
    I applaud all Amish who have the courage to break free from their chains. I know from personal experience that it is hard to deal with family that provides an unhealthy influence. I’m sorry but if a parent can choose a church over their own child then they are no kind of parent at all.
    Hypocrisy, lies and self-righteousness are what being Amish is apparently all about.
    Hey, having a close community is great and we should all learn something from that. However, I see it as nothing to applaud when it is all based on a lie to begin with.
    The Nazis also had a strong sense of community but it fell apart because they were more interested in making sure everyone conformed than keeping sight of what they were trying to build in the first place.
    I think if the Amish society were created today, it would be regarded as a cult and investigated by the FBI. Their culture is abusive towards women and children based on the current laws of our land, which even they are obligated to follow.
    Religious freedom is no excuse for stifling education, child labor or beard cutting attacks. Why don’t we let Muslim communities just start practicing Sharia law?! It’s the same difference as the Amish, we just can’t see it because of bias towards Christianity and tolerance of Christian extremism even while we demonize Islamic extremism.
    As an atheist who did not come to the decision lightly, I see the similarities plain as day.
    Fundamentalism is always wrong and saying Amish are ok but letting Muslim communities not practice sharia law in the US really just illustrates that the Amish are being given a lot of breaks that are unfair.
    Maybe I don’t want to pay into social security because it violates my most deeply held beliefs. No, I don’t have any scripture to quote about it but that shouldn’t matter. Being atheist and anti-authoritarian is my religion. The fact the Amish can get out of it but I can’t means my 14th Amendment rights to equal protection under the law are being violated.

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    Mary C
    Comment on lighting (October 4th, 2018 at 01:30)



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