This work investigates the influence of residual stress on the performance of InGaN-based red light-emitting diodes (LEDs) by changing the thickness of the underlying n-GaN layers. The residual in-plane stress in the LED structure depends on the thickness of the underlying layer. Decreased residual in-plane stress resulting from the increased thickness of the underlying n-GaN layers improves the crystalline quality of the InGaN active region by allowing for a higher growth temperature. The electroluminescence intensity of the InGaN-based red LEDs is increased by a factor of 1.3 when the thickness of the underlying n-GaN layer is increased from 2 to 8 lm. Using 8-lm-thick underlying n-GaN layers, 633-nm-wavelength red LEDs are realized with a light-output power of 0.64 mW and an external quantum efficiency of 1.6% at 20 mA. The improved external quantum efficiency of the LEDs can be attributed to the lower residual in-plane stress in the underlying GaN layers.