Dec 20, 2019

For the second year in a row at the 2020 Dakar, Lumileds Automotive Lighting sponsors Xavier de Soultrait

Lumileds Automotive Lighting sponsors Xavier de Soultrait
Lumileds Automotive Lighting sponsors Xavier de Soultrait

The world’s greatest endurance and performance rally raid.

Suresnes, France – December 20, 2019 – Lumileds and its automotive lighting brand Philips are sponsoring rally motorbike-rider Xavier de Soultrait, for the legendary Dakar rally raid. Xavier’s moto and his support trucks will be equipped with Philips headlight bulbs, while his race mechanics will use Philips professional LED work lights.

Reliable, high-performance automotive lighting for winners

Xavier de Soultrait made sixth in the previous edition, in Peru. He aims to win this mythical race in 2020. Probably the toughest rally raid in the world, the Dakar is renowned for its harsh climatic conditions, both cold and hot, and extremely challenging terrain. In 2020 it will take place in Saudi Arabia, which is the first time in the history of the Dakar.

“This year, the Dakar takes place in the North hemisphere, in Saudi Arabia. It means we’ll drive by night much more than the previous editions. Automotive lighting, whether their light output performance or their durability and resistance, will be a major ally and could even make the difference in the race” Xavier said.

Everything is pushed to the limit, which is what makes this race so demanding. Driver and vehicle must achieve the ultimate in endurance and performance. In rallies like these, reliable, effective equipment is vital, especially when it comes to lights.

We’re proud to accompany Xavier throughout this legendary endurance race, and to provide him with the Lumileds and Philips automotive lighting he needs to compete and win”, said Mohamed Baiz, EMEA Marketing Director at Lumileds. “We put our products through the mill to ensure their performance and durability, qualities that underpin the pioneer spirit of the Dakar”, he added.

Enhanced endurance and durability with no compromise on performance

Xavier de Soultrait’s bike is equipped with Lumileds LUXEON F LED chips. LUXEON F is a powerful, advanced LED solution ideal for high-luminance forward lighting. Its compact, robust form is versatile and easy to integrate into the vehicle design. Low thermal resistance simplifies heat management while offering enhanced durability and longer bulb life in all terrains and climates.

I drove the whole season with the Lumileds LEDs. After passing the Dakar race in Peru, they held up well against the Silk Way Rally in Russia. Despite variations in temperature, humidity, surface and various shocks, the light beam has not moved. These extreme conditions will be the same in Saudi Arabia. In addition, we performed two stages in total autonomy this year (marathon and super-marathon). These stages were without assistance, or with a reduced time of intervention, and we had to be able to rely on our professional equipment.” Xavier explained. “With Lumileds automotive LED lighting, I drive in confidence” he added.

Greater safety and visibility with Philips headlight bulbs   

During the race, Xavier’s support trucks will use the latest in headlight-bulb technology:

  • Philips X-tremeUltinon LED: performing to automotive OEM[1] specifications, these LED retrofit headlight bulbs are equipped with exclusive Lumileds LUXEON Altilon LED chips, otherwise only available to carmakers. These lights feature optimal consistency, performance up to +250% brighter[2]and a cool, white light (5 800 K) for sharper vision and contrast. Specifically developed for OEM front lighting (low beam, high beam, fog and curved lighting), LUXEON Altilon SMD LEDs provide long lifetime and high reliability proven by stringent automotive testing. Projecting a wider-angled, perfectly-positioned beam, these headlight bulbs prevent glare and produce the best cut-off line. Their optimal hot-lumen ratio means that Philips X-tremeUltinon LED lights offer longer-term stability as well as improved thermal resistance and low power consumption.
  • Philips MasterDuty: designed for maximum vibration resistance and excellent lifetime, these 24 V headlight bulbs provide up to +130% brighter light[3] on the road. They are the right choice for drivers seeking toughness that lasts. Philips MasterDuty also offers a reinforced mount base guards against shocks.

Xavier trusts our Philips bulbs: “We’re very happy with them. In South America, the trucks cover a lot of kilometers, sometimes on the rally course itself. The Dakar is the toughest rally in terms of putting your equipment to the test. What’s more, the trucks set out on a 16,000 km journey through China, Mongolia, Russia and back in snow and freezing temperatures. Those Philips bulbs are extremely durable.”

Defeat darkness with Philips LED professional work lights

Xavier de Soultrait’s race mechanics will use Philips extensive range of professional LED work lights to illuminate every detail with pinpoint precision. The high-quality, white LEDs have a color temperature of 6 000 K. Their bright, intense light optimizes clarity and vision yet is easy on the eye, improving visual comfort and reducing eye strain for fatigue-free working.

Philips LED work lights are designed for the toughest environments and conform to the highest standards for shock- (up to IK09), water- and dust-resistance (up to IP68). Their batteries last from 5 to 12 hours, enough for a full day’s work.

Our mechanics work in difficult conditions: at night, under shelters, with neon lights that don’t always provide enough illumination. Philips professional workshop lamps are remarkable: they’re very powerful, easy to handle, especially the frontal ones we often use, and their white color temperature lets us see what we’re doing.” explained Xavier.

Find out more on this partnership

As a leading lighting solutions company for the automotive industry, Lumileds is licensed to use the Philips brand for its automotive lighting and accessories product portfolio. Technologically advanced Philips automotive lighting solutions are renowned in the automotive industry, and has been for over 100 years. The Philips Automotive Grade Quality products are designed and developed following strict quality control processes (including applicable ISO norms), leading to consistently high production standards.

To find out more:

About Lumileds

For automotive, mobile, IoT and illumination companies who require innovative lighting solutions, Lumileds is a global leader employing more than 9,000 team members operating in over 65 countries. Lumileds partners with its customers to push the boundaries of light.

To learn more about our portfolio of lighting solutions, visit

About Xavier de Soultrait

Xavier de Soultrait is a 30-year-old rider with the Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally team. His past performances show that he has what it takes to compete at the highest level in the Dakar. After a brilliant career in enduro, Xavier moved up to rally raid with one simple ambition – to win the legend that is the Dakar. He finished 13th in 2015, a result that got him noticed by the sport’s elite. The last three races have proved more challenging. In 2016 he pulled out three days short of the finish. A mechanical fault when he was placed 8th overall relegated him to the back of the pack in 2017. Last year he fractured his elbow while vying for the lead. Where others would have thrown in the towel, Xavier kept going. This is a rider with both eyes on the podium who’s not afraid to take risks.

To find out more:

About the Dakar

The Dakar is the world’s foremost rally raid, pushing competitors to the limit. The 2019 edition takes place in Peru and consists of 10 stages, but the event is first and foremost a unique human adventure. With a history forged in some of the world’s most awe-inspiring deserts, the Dakar has attracted men and women from all corners of the globe to compete in one of the toughest sporting challenges of our era. The race, a feat of endurance that also tests participants’ navigation skills, brings together around 500 entrants from more than 60 countries every year. Leading professional rally-raid riders and drivers compete alongside adventurous amateurs over thousands of kilometers for 15 days.

To find out more:

For further information, please contact:

Marine Carruelle
EMEA Marcom Manager Automotive Aftermarket
Tel: + 33 (0)7 87 94 57 16
E-mail: [email protected]

[1] Original Equipment Manufacturer.
[2] Compared to the legal minimum standard for halogen bulbs.
[3] Compared to the legal minimum standard.

About Lumileds:

Lumileds is a global leader in OEM and aftermarket automotive lighting and accessories, camera flash for mobile devices, MicroLED, and light sources for general illumination, horticulture, and human-centric lighting. Our approximately 6,000 employees operate in over 30 countries and partner with our customers to deliver never before possible solutions for lighting, safety, and well-being. To learn more about our company and solution portfolios, please visit

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