This study investigates illuminators composed of light emitting diode (LED) array sources and side-emitting light guides to provide efficient general illumination. Specifically, new geometries are explored to increase the efficiency of current systems while maintaining desired light distribution. LED technology is already successfully applied in many illumination applications, such as traffic signals and liquid crystal display (LCD) backlighting. It provides energy-efficient, small-package, long-life, and color-adjustable illumination. However, the use of LEDs in general illumination is still in its early stages. Current side-emitting systems typically use a light guide with light sources at one end, an end-cap surface at the other end, and light releasing sidewalls. This geometry introduces efficiency loss that can be as high as 40%. The illuminators analyzed in this study use LED array sources along the longitude of a light guide to increase the system efficiency. These new geometries also provide the freedom of elongating the system without sacrificing system efficiency. In addition, alternative geometries can be used to create white light with monochromatic LED sources. As concluded by this study, the side-emitting illuminators using LED sources gives the possibility of an efficient, distribution-controllable linear lighting system.