We introduce a method to enhance the luminescence of GaN-based LEDs by combining the direct heteroepitaxy laterally overgrowth (DHELO) technique with selective wet etching process. The epitaxial overgrowth of GaN layers on sapphire substrate with SiO2 micro-rods array exhibited a reduced dislocation density and improved the crystal quality. The EL intensity of LEDs with SiO2 micro-rods array was 6.5% higher than conventional LEDs at 20 mA. The selective wet etching process was then used to texture the LED sidewalls into inverted pyramid shape. Finally, the EL intensity could be further enhanced about 12.5% as compared with LEDs with SiO2 micro-rods array when adopting the textured sidewalls.