Goals in each half from Inigo Calderon and substitute Craig Noone saw off Colchester 2-0 and extended Brighton's lead at the top of League One to six points.
Spanish defender Calderon broke the deadlock in first-half stoppage-time with a fine left-foot finish after good link-up play with striker Glenn Murray.
Winger Noone, a recent signing from Plymouth, settled the issue three minutes after replacing Radostin Kishishev with a superb individual goal 13 minutes from time.
Colchester finished with 10 men with the late sending-off of defender Pat Baldwin for two bookable offences.
Colchester came closest when Brighton's Danish keeper Casper Ankergren denied a goalbound effort from Andrew Bond before striker David Mooney was narrowly off target from outside the area.