Measurement of carrier lifetime is very important to understand the physics in light-emitting diodes (LEDs), as it builds a link between carrier concentration and excitation power or current density. In this paper, we present our study on optical and electrical characterizations on carrier lifetimes in polar InGaN-based LEDs. First, a carrier rate equation model is proposed to explain the non-exponential nature of time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL) decay curves, wherein exciton recombination is replaced by bimolecular recombination, considering the influence of polarization field on electron-hole pairs. Then, nonradiative recombination and radiative recombination coefficients can be deduced from fitting and used to calculate the radiative recombination efficiency. By comparing with the temperature-dependent photoluminescence (TDPL) and power-dependent photoluminescence (PDPL), it is found these three methods provide the consistent results. Second, differential carrier lifetimes depending on injection current are measured in commercial near-ultraviolet (NUV), blue and green LEDs. It is found that carrier lifetime is longer in green one and shorter in NUV one, which is attributed to the influence of polarization-induced quantum confined Stark effect (QCSE). This result implies the carrier density is higher in green LED while lower NUV LED, even the injection current is the same. By ignoring Auger recombination and fitting the efficiency–current and carrier lifetime–current curves simultaneously, the dependence of injection efficiency on carrier concentration in different LED samples are plotted. The NUV LED, which has the shallowest InGaN quantum well, actually exhibits the most serious efficiency droop versus carrier concentration. Then, the approaches to overcome the efficiency droop are discussed.