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Our Story

Since 1952, John Watson Landscape Illumination has been the pioneer in the landscape illumination industry, and has grown to be “the leading design built firm worldwide”.

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John R. Watson

John Watson was born in 1922, grew up in a small Texas town and took pride in his country boyhood upbringing. Despite his challenges with dyslexia, he performed well in school. World War II interrupted his senior year in college, where he was in active services with the Seventh Armored Division in Europe. He received a scholarship from the U. S. military organized school in Biarritz, France, where he continued his advanced studies at the Sorbonne in Paris. He began his thesis and extensive studies on “Landscape Illumination” for his Master’s degree at Texas A&M in Landscape Architecture under landscape artist, Fritz Hensel.

In 1952, he returned to Texas and created John Watson Landscape Illumination. Over the years he became the most internationally recognized authority in the field of Landscape Illumination. He was respected as a pioneer and leader in outdoor lighting, illuminating gardens for the rich and famous, film and television stars, hotels, resorts around the world, as well as presidents of this country and other nations. He passed away in 2005 in Beijing, China while on vacation.

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John “Shannon” Watson

Following in his father’s footsteps, Shannon spent his teenage years 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 greatest landscape illumination artist.

For more than 31 years, Shannon has been recognized as the world’s leading authority in landscape illumination. He has completed beautiful illumination designs all across the United States, Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean islands, Europe, Africa, and Asia. His residential clients range from celebrities, governors, U.S. presidents and Saudi Arabia’s royal families. His commercial clientele range from museums, developments, private country clubs and to numerous luxury resorts, like the Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton and Fairmont hotels.

His custom designs use a variety of lighting sources, such as high-intensity discharge, light-emitting diode, and cutting-edge, sophisticated illumination techniques. Whether he’s lighting private residential gardens, country clubs, houses of worship, universities, amusement parks, or commercial developments, he “artistically paints with a brush illumination onto a black canvas,” making the world a more beautiful place to live and enjoy at night.

"JWLI's expert designs reflected in both the majesty of our trees and the natural, moonlight shadowing we desired. They worked closely with us though each stage and can only be described as professional, creative, hardworking, and responsive."
– The Glossers, Dallas, TX

"A unique blend of experienced outdoor lighting expertise, an absolute customer focused staff and imaginative approaches and solutions to lighting challenges are at the heart of JWLI. This group of passionate doers is satisfied only when their clients are happy, and when they know they have created superb and special lighting memorable moments for you."
– Hayne H., Greenville, SC

"We just love our new lighting!!! Not only do we feel much safer, but it has extended our living space!"
– Sally F., Dallas, TX

"At night hotel gardens take on a completely different ambience that only JWLI knows how to interpret and romanticize. There is no better guest experience than walking through a magical moon lit garden that JWLI designed. There is no equal to JWLI commitment to excellence and attention to detail."
– George L., Fairmont Raffles Hotels, San Francisco, CA

John and Shannon Watson have illuminated beautiful homes, gardens, resorts, and clubs around the world. Prestigious clientele find great value in our design-built landscape illumination business model. We are well known for manufacturing the most cutting edge and energy efficient lighting equipment. Installations can be completed by our professional electrical installation experts worldwide. Our expertise enables us to encompass any and all security, aesthetic and safety needs for residential and commercial properties. We look forward to assisting and sharing our design-built quality with you.