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An investigation into the effects of the structures of both LED devices and systems on the luminous performance is presented. Single-chip and multichip LED structures and concentrated and distributed LED systems are studied and compared. Practical tests on both of the device and system levels have confirmed the theoretical predictions that parallel LED structures can lead to much lower thermal resistance and thus higher luminous output. The results of this paper contribute to new information for both LED device manufacturers and system designers toward the optimization of the LED technology.