Inland Lighting is a Downtown Yakima institution. It started in 1956 with three divisions: lighting, electrical and piping. When Jim Engebretson bought the business in 1992, located at 104 W. Yakima Avenue, it was solely a lighting shop – the two other divisions had become separate businesses.
When you walk into the Inland Lighting, you are immediately dazzled by all the lights, twinkling at you from a myriad of fixtures ranging from ornate to sleek modern to strictly functional. Strolling around the showroom floor is like being in a visual candy store. I had no idea that there was this kind of selection. We have been to other cities and regions and have not seen this vast of a selection before, is the most frequent comment Inland Lighting hears from customers. “And that is by design,” says Engebretson. “We’re very close to Seattle and I felt it was incumbent upon us to have a showroom with the variety and selection that was second to none, in terms of the customers seeing locally what they think they have to go someplace else to see.”
Inland Lighting’s main focus is residential lighting – the full spectrum of lighting the home, both inside and outside. Inland Lighting also handles light commercial such as retail, restaurants, and salons. Many of the clients are designers and builders but commercial retail is a huge part of the business and Jim and Tina and the staff are in the shop daily, ready to handle all the needs of individual customers, including repairs to fixtures and lamps (table and floor). His wife, Tina, who co-owns the business, is one of only five Certified Lighting Consultants in the northwest.
Engebretson says every day is like Christmas because he and Tina are always looking at new fixtures, or the newest technology in lighting. Being able to do it in Yakima is an extra gift. “I always wanted to be in Yakima, not necessarily just for business but for a variety of reasons: lifestyle, environment - all of the good things. Owning this business afforded me the opportunity to do that.”
Since taking over Inland Lighting nearly 3 decades ago, Engebretson has seen the many phases experienced by the downtown. He is enjoying taking part in the current revitalization and working with other businesses to increase the draw to Downtown Yakima.
Getting to Know Jim Engebretson
Born: Fergus Falls, MN but raised in Tacoma, WA
Hobbies: duck hunting, watching football, reading
Favorite Authors: Tom Clancy, John Grisham
Favorite Movies any movie where the good guys win
Favorite musical artists: Toby Keith, The Who, Heart
Favorite Food: steak
Favorite Sports Team: Washington Huskies
Posted February 28, 2021
14 S. First Street
Yakima, WA 98901