Backlights are used for compact, portable, electronic devices with flat panel Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) that require illumination from behind. Applications include devices as small as hand-held palm pilots and as large as big-screen TVs. Goals for backlight design include low power consumption, large area with small thickness, high brightness, uniform luminance, and controlled viewing angle, either wide or narrow. To achieve these challenging design goals with a cost effective and timely solution, it is necessary to use computer-aided optical design tools to expedite the design. This paper describes features in ORA’s LightTools® illumination design and analysis software that enable the development of stateof-the-art backlight designs.