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AlGaInP thin-film resonant cavity light-emitting diodes (RCLEDs) show an improved performance compared to standard red emitting RCLEDs. External quantum efficiencies at 650 nm of 23% and 18% with and without encapsulation, respectively, have been obtained for devices showing a maximum emission in the normal direction. Thanks to the high angle-averaged reflectivity of the bottom hybrid mirror, a strong photon recycling effect occurs in these structures. The decrease of the absorption with increasing injection level reduces photon recycling and increases extraction of lateral guided modes. The redirection of part of the emission from the vertical to the lateral direction with increasing current density is reflected in the evolution of the far-field radiation pattern.