These high-brightness LED-based backlight assemblies enable independent control of the brightness and color of individual zones within the backlight. The modules are designed and constructed utilizing the patented MicroLens technology to be user-addressable so that the end user can design and supply circuitry to control each LED's color and intensity. This feature can be used to achieve color fading, pulsing, or steady state illumination. In keypad/keyboard applications, independent illumination of zones can be achieved to illuminate numeric keys or other groupings to make them independent in intensity and color from the remainder of the keypad/keyboard. Status indications can be incorporated into LCD backlights that change color and/or intensity to indicate faults, errors, or warnings.