In the video below, I discuss three of the most common ways in which Amish light their homes. In short, they are:
1. Propane or natural gas lighting – here you see an example in the form of a propane-powered lamp. The propane tank is built into the furniture unit at bottom, and these typically are wheeled so they can easily be moved around a room. There are various other types of lamps using propane and in some communities, natural gas.
2. Kerosene & oil lamps – More conservative Amish groups use fuels like kerosene, often in teardrop style lamps like those pictured below. Kerosene was being used in households already in the mid-1800s, predating household use of propane (early 1900s), so in some sense it is a more “old-fashioned” fuel. They also use brighter pressurized lamps burning kerosene and other fuels such as naphtha. These can be hung from hooks in the ceiling, and moved from room to room where light is needed.
3. Battery-powered lights – Amish use all manner of battery-powered lights, and even the plainest Amish permit some form of battery lighting. Common are the heavy-duty work lights (Dewalt is a common brand) which are recharged using a diesel generator or via solar cells. Also popular are headlamps such as the one pictured below, which can be worn when needing both hands free.
At the end of the video, I also explain two reasons why you might find light switches on the walls of Amish homes. You can find the written version of this video here (in that, I include two additional ways Amish light their homes which you might consider as “less common”). Runtime: 3:27.