Two first-half tries from second-row Tim Swinson proved the difference to give his side a winning start in Pool Two.
Scrum-half Jordi Pasqualin crossed for the Falcons' third try straight after half-time before Lyon's impressive number eight Nicolas Bontinick responded with Lyon's first European try three minutes later.
Indiscipline proved a major problem for the French side, who had three players - lock Arnaud Dorier, centre Latu Alipate Fatafehi and Bontinck sin-binned during the game.
Newport Gwent Dragons welcomed back their Wales World Cup stars as they beat Italian minnows I Cavalieri 33-3 in Italy.
Dan Lydiate and Toby Faletau led the returning cast as they appeared for the first time since helping Wales to the semi-finals in New Zealand.
The Dragons will next face Perpignan, who earned a narrow home 15-12 over the Exeter Chiefs in Catalonia yesterday, at Rodney Parade.
That will see the return of James Hook to Wales for the first time since he left the Ospreys in the summer.
All Blacks legend Joe Rokocoko, who left New Zealand to move to France in the summer, scored his first try in European rugby in Bayonne's six-try rout of Italian side Femi-CX Rovigo 43-10.
Agen ran riot as they rattled off a 50-10 victory over Spanish minnows CR La Vila, who won the Spanish title last season and are in their first season of European rugby, in Alicante.
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The Barbarians are one of the top invitational rugby sides with a long history and classic rugby jersey.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Lions get ready for their matches with this green training jersey. It's what the players wear. Get in the Gear!
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The Lions are ready to get their Australia tour underway. They arrive in Perth on Monday.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.