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Current trends for rugged electronic displays moves away from CCFL towards high power LEDs. They provide many benefits such as adaptive light control, reduced form factor and other novel techniques to improve the performance of the display. Introduction of LED also change the thermal characteristics of the backlight and has subsequent effects on its performance and reliability of the display. This paper investigates the tools to predict the performance of the display and highlights the intricate relationships between the thermal, mechanical and optical behaviour when developing a rugged electronic display.