GaAs red LEDs weren't very bright. By adding Aluminium, Indium, Phosphorus, Nitrogen etc, new colours & higher-efficiency old colours were invented. Orange. Yellow. Green. Brighter green. Even brighter green. Really bright green. I thought that blue LEDs would never be invented. Wrong!
Nowadays, OLEDs are so efficient that they can be used for lighting and they are more efficient and longer-lasting than CFLs. I thought that OLEDs would never catch on. Wrong! The superb display on my Samsung phone uses AMOLED technology. But anyway...
What I found interesting about GaAs red LEDs was their I-V characteristic.
I used two "strings" of red GaAs LEDs as an ultra-low-noise voltage limiter in a high-power oscillator using LDMOS MOSFETs that had just been invented by Mullard (which later became Philips). It produced 1W (+30dBm) over a frequency range of 30 to 88MHz and had a Carrier to Noise Ratio (C/N) of >190dBc/Hz @10% frequency offset. Typical RF Signal Generators of that era had a C/N of ~145dBc/Hz at that offset.
I hope that you've enjoyed this little tour around my brain!