Light emission at 1.54 µm from an Er-doped amorphous silicon nitride layer coupled to photonic crystal resonators at cryogenic and room temperatures and under varying optical pump powers has been studied. The results demonstrate that small mode volume, high quality factor resonators enhance Er absorption and emission rates at the cavity resonance. Time resolved measurements give 11- to 17-fold Purcell enhancement of spontaneous emission at cryogenic temperatures, and 2.4-fold enhancement at room temperature. Resonances exhibit linewidth narrowing with pump power, signifying absorption bleaching and partial inversion of the Er ions cryogenic temperatures. We estimate that 31% of Er ions are excited at the highest pump power. © 2010 Optical Society of America.