John Photo 1John Niggli is President and Principal Designer of Lightscaping by Niggli Associates.

John is a native Rochesterian. After attending the United States Coast Guard Academy, and while attending college obtaining a degree in criminal justice, John became a summer deputy sheriff and member of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Dept Marine Unit patrolling Lake Ontario and Irondequoit Bay. At the same time he began working in the alarm industry responding to, troubleshooting, and repairing alarm systems. This was the start of John’s low voltage electric experience. His private alarm industry experience includes sales, system design, and an extensive background involving service and installation management. After John left the private alarm industry, his passion for working outdoors sparked the start of the family landscape maintenance business “Better Yards and Gardens.”   While that business was growing, he continued to work part-time as a contractor designing, integrating, and managing large scale security projects for major corporations in the Rochester area. Some examples of the types of projects he engineered and managed during his tenure in the security industry are:  the design and implementation of monitored and centrally controlled access  into the Xerox manufacturing facilities in Webster, NY involving card access, closed circuit television, intercom communication, with controlled turnstile and ADA entry points; the total centralized access control and building automation system replacement driven by Y2K computer concerns for all the Frontier Telephone facilities in the upstate NY area,  and in 2012, converting over 200 closed circuit television cameras for viewing, recording, and control over the local area network for Xerox Corp Webster Campus.  It is this experience of over 35 years of working with low voltage electronics coupled with over 18 years in the landscape industry that made his decision to migrate the family business to low voltage lighting both easy and natural.

The family business began in 1995 as Better Yards and Gardens offering full-service landscaping maintenance and installation.  In 2002 the business began a transformation to focus on outdoor low voltage architectural and landscape lighting.  John’s business is now strictly and happily devoted to “lightscaping” focusing on design, installation, service and maintenance of low voltage outdoor lighting systems.   John is an award winning outdoor lighting designer and is an expert troubleshooter. Besides designing and installing low voltage lighting systems, he is often commissioned to renovate and overhaul and redesign existing systems installed by others, or simply to provide design and consulting services.

John views outdoor lighting systems as an investment to enhance the landscape and architecture of the property and to make outdoor spaces more useable and enjoyable at night. To him, it is not just an addition to the landscape. A lighting design is not about what fixtures to use. It is about determining what the client wants to accomplish with the lighting, determining the kind of lighting techniques that will produce the required effects and then choosing the appropriate lamps and fixtures that will produce the light to achieve the desired result. The system is designed and installed so that it can be easily maintained over time to retain that design intent.  Lighting systems should last and be able to evolve with the landscape and property changes.

Garden Railroad 1John’s hobbies include music, camping, fishing, outdoor cooking, cowboy action shooting, and outdoor garden railroading. And of course, in the garden railroad layout, individual railroad buildings and villages are part of his nightly backyard landscape lighting, summer or winter, whether trains are running or not!

Education and Certifications

  • Certified Outdoor Lighting Designer (COLD # 1113) from Association of Outdoor Lighting Professionals
  • Certified Low Voltage Lighting Technician (CLVLT # 0742) from the Association of Outdoor Lighting Professionals
  • Certified Nursery Landscape Professional (CNLP # 2279) from the New York State Nursery Landscape Association
  • Rutgers Continuing Education Landscape Lighting Course
  • Genesee Finger Lakes Community College – Horticultural Courses
  • Monroe Community College – Criminal Justice Degree
  • Attended the United States Coast Guard Academy – Engineering and Professional Courses

Lighting Design Awards Received

  • 2012 – AOLP Outdoor Lighting Design Award – Special Lighting Application Project Category
  • 2007 – AOLP Outdoor Lighting Design Award – Residential 21-50 Fixture Project Category

Lighting and Landscape Industry Contributions

John is committed to not only continually raising the quality of his own work but is dedicated to raising the standards of the outdoor lighting industry and actively participates in related associations and in the education and development of other outdoor lighting professionals.

  • 2/6/2013 – Gardenscape Professional Education Day  Lecturer (Rochester, NY) – ” LEDs are here to stay, so deal with it – Smartly”
  • 1/16/2013 – Ohio State Nursery Short Course Conference Lecturer (Columbus, Ohio) – “LED Revolution”
  • 2012 to 2013 – Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) committee member – assisting in writing RP-39 “Landscape Lighting – Interior and Exterior Standards
  • 2011 to present – AOLP Board of Directors
  • 2011 to present – AOLP Certified Outdoor Lighting Designer Program committee member and instructor
  • 2012 to present – AOLP Awards Committee Co-Chairmanimage6
  • 2002 to present – Steering committee member of the GardenScape Professionals Flower Show
  • 2007 to 2009 – Committee member of GardenScape Professionals Education Committee

Community Service

  • 2013 – Donated and installed lighting for the Episcopal Church Home Betty Greenfield Memorial statue of Saint Francis of Assisi.