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According to our measurements, the radiation pattern of many low-cost commercial light-emitting diodes (LEDs) is not smooth. Some LEDs even have serious irregularities that affect the performance of infrared communication systems. For systems where a definite communication area is required, such as electronic-toll-collection (ETC) applications, this problem is particularly serious. In this paper, we first present our measured results for the radiation pattern of several typical low-cost commercial LEDs, showing that almost all of them are irregular to some extent. We then use the most acceptable model with a suitable half-intensity angle to construct the emitter of an ETC system. The design was calculated with the aid of an optimization algorithm to determine the mounting angle for each LED such that the system has an extended communication area in the longitudinal direction, i.e., in the vehicle traveling direction, and can withstand high signal attenuation. For a typical LED with half-intensity angle Φ1/2 = 13°, a very simple two-group structure for the emitter is obtained, and the analysis results are verified by experimental measurements.