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Light emitting diodes (LEDs) can provide a number of benefits such as adaptive light control, reduced form factor and other novel techniques to ultimately improve the performance of the display. Some of the design challenges in adopting LEDs are to fully understand their effect on the thermal management, reliability, optical and viewability performance of the display. For the display designer this requires integrated modelling and analysis tools. The paper describes optical and thermal modelling techniques used to predict key design parameters such as luminance and temperature for ruggedized electronic display's using an array of LEDs as the backlight.