Although the maximum brightness of LEDs has been increasing continuously during the past decade, their luminance is still far from what is required for multiple applications that still rely on the high brightness of discharge lamps. In particular for high brightness applications with limited étendue, e.g. front projection, only very modest luminance values in the beam can be achieved with LEDs compared to systems based on discharge lamps or lasers. With dedicated architectures, phosphor-converted green LEDs for projection may achieve luminance values up to 200-300 Mnit. In this paper we report on the progress made in the development of light engines based on an elongated luminescent concentrator pumped by blue LEDs. This concept has recently been introduced to the market as ColorSpark High Lumen Density LED technology. These sources outperform the maximum brightness of LEDs by multiple factors. In LED front projection, green LEDs are the main limiting factor. With our green modules, we now have achieved peak luminance values of 2 Gnit, enabling LED-based projection systems with over 4000 ANSI lm. Extension of this concept to yellow and red light sources is presented. The light source efficiency has been increased considerably, reaching 45-60 lm/W for green under practical application conditions. The module architecture, beam shaping, and performance characteristics are reviewed, as well as system aspects. The performance increase, spectral range extensions, beam-shaping flexibility, and cost reductions realized with the new module architecture enable a breakthrough in LED-based projection systems and in a wide variety of other high brightness applications.