Structural and optical properties of thick InGaN layers with strain and composition inhomogeneities are investigated. High resolution xray diffractions (XRD) and reciprocal space mapping (RSM) along an asymmetric axis reveal that the In composition inhomogeneity is accompanied by strain relaxations during the growth of thick InGaN layers. According to the structural analysis, the commonly observed double photoluminescence (PL) peaks have been confirmed to be associated with the strain relaxation in thick InGaN films. Temperature- dependent PL measurements further indicate that the relaxed phase in InGaN films exhibits better emission efficiency than the strained phase. Recombination dynamics reveal that the carrier localization effect is more pronounced in the relaxed phase due to the compositional pulling effect. The correlations between emission efficiency and localization effect in thick InGaN films are discussed.