England: Brighton residents urge club to "turn off that light"

source: StadiumDB.com; author: Paulina Skóra

England: Brighton residents urge club to Residents of Brighton and its surroundings have been complaining about the overly bright light illuminating the night sky above the Amex Stadium for quite some time. "Sometimes it's really bright – it lights up the sky all night and doesn't let us sleep," one resident lamented in a conversation with The Argus.


Long-standing issue

Although the issue resurfaced last Friday when the light appeared over the stadium despite no match taking place, residents have been signaling this problem for years. In 2020, a petition was launched to turn off the nighttime lighting due to its impact on wildlife. The initiative came from artist Steve Geliot, who cited an analysis published in the journal Biological Conservation, indicating that artificial light at night led to a decline in insect populations.

Additionally, Amex Stadium is located on the border of the South Downs National Park, an international dark sky reserve – one of only 16 in the world. This light pollution mocks that designation, especially when it's visible from many kilometers away, said Chris Todd from Brighton Friends Of The Earth. Despite facing criticism, the petition garnered 12,000 signatures at the time.

American Express Community Stadium (Falmer Stadium)© Barbara van Cleve (cc: by-sa)

Brighton's explanation...

The club explains the necessity of using light even when there are no matches, specifically for illuminating the grass field. During the winter months, due to poor weather conditions and a lack of natural light, the field loses a crucial element of its natural ability to regenerate and grow. We will always limit the use of artificial light, but we cannot further restrict or completely eliminate it. Such action would mean significant neglect of other specified duties, said a Brighton spokesperson. In every match, multi-million-pound sporting and football talents are at play, so we have a duty to take care of our players and visiting teams. Our on-field results impact the overall health of our businesses, along with thousands of jobs directly and indirectly created, 90% of which are local, not to mention the overall local economic impact.

...but residents are unhappy

The club's spokesperson's words did not appease residents; on the contrary, people accuse the club of a lack of willingness to take action for the community and harming the environment. I don't care about overpaid men kicking a ball. They don't think about people's well-being. Sleep is one of the most important things for a person, not the state of the grass where you can kick a ball, said Kirsty Gibbs, who recently signed another petition.

American Express Community Stadium (Falmer Stadium)© Stuart Noel Fuller