The History of John Watson Landscape Illumination

For more than 20 years, John “Shannon” Watson has been recognized as the world’s leading authority in landscape illumination while illuminating homes and businesses around the globe. His clients range from celebrities like Madonna and Saudi Arabia’s royal family to luxury hotel chains like Four Seasons. Shannon’s father, John Watson, became a pioneer in landscape illumination when he founded the “design build” company John Watson Landscape Illumination in 1952 and was dubbed “Mr. Moonlight” in TIME magazine.

Starting in his teenage years, Shannon spent his time outside of school learning all aspects of his father’s company, from the warehouse and manufacturing division to drafting, accounting, and operations. Shannon graduated from Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business. He eventually became chief technician of installations in the U.S. and was determined to be the next great landscape artist.

Shannon has served clients in the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and Asia. He uses many different lighting sources, such as high-intensity discharge, light-emitting diode, and cutting-edge, sophisticated illumination techniques. It all depends on whether he’s lighting a private garden, condominium project, house of worship, university, amusement park, or commercial development. He “paints light onto a black canvas,” making the world a more beautiful place to live and enjoy at night.

His wife, Kelly, plays a key role in the business while looking after their two sons, John Madison, 18, and Henry Weatherby, 11. Shannon’s mother lives in Dallas, Texas. His father passed away in 2005 in Beijing, China, where he was creating landscape illumination designs at the age of 83.