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Why does the lighting at the Falcons’ new stadium look so bright?

There are a couple of factors at work here.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

When you tune in for Sunday Night Football, the first regular season game in the Falcons’ new stadium, the lighting might catch you off guard. It’s not your imagination. It does look different, and there are a couple of reasons why.

First and foremost, the Falcons made it a priority to make the new stadium as ecologically sound as possible. Part of that effort was installing LED lights, which stadium representatives say are softer and brighter than the florescent lighting used in most stadiums.

The retractable roof also lets in natural light. You would think that wouldn’t be as much of an issue during a night game, but during the Falcons’ preseason contests, fans noticed how much brighter it seemed in the new stadium.

The LED lights are not the Falcons’ only sustainability initiatives in the new stadium. Back in October 2016, then-President Barack Obama and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy for Sustainability recognized Mercedes-Benz Stadium for being so ecologically friendly.

“From inception, Arthur Blank challenged us to make Mercedes-Benz Stadium one of the most sustainable buildings in sports,” Scott Jenkins, the general manager of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, said at the time.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium is the first sports facility to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Development) Platinum status. The factors considered include energy efficiency, water use, and other sustainability factors.

And the stadium looking brighter on television is just a pleasant byproduct.