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This paper reports on the effect of nanometer-scale photonic crystal structures on the enhancement of the light extraction in GaN light-emitting diodes. Photonic crystals with hole or pillar-patterned structures with lattice constants of 460, 600, 750, and 920 nm are fabricated on indium-doped tin oxide (ITO) electrodes and/or p-GaN layers using laser holography and reactive ion etching. It is found that the light extraction efficiency depends strongly on the distance between the photonic crystal and the active layer, as well as the lattice constant for both structures. Photonic crystal light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with a lattice constant of 750 nm and hole depths of 260 nm in the ITO layer show an increase in light extraction of up to 32%, compared to conventional LEDs, without degradation in the electrical properties while a maximum enhancement of 26% is obtained from the device with a lattice constant of 460 nm and pillar heights of 60 nm on the p-GaN layer. The dependence of the extraction efficiency on the lattice constant is also calculated using a 3-D finite-difference time-domain method and compared with experimental results.