The luminescence of Tb-doped a-SiC:H thin films with different Tb concentrations under sub-bandgap photon excitation was investigated. Two independent processes were identified. The annealing induced activation of the Tb3+ and the inhibition of host-mediated non-radiative recombination paths. The integrated emission intensity is described by a rate equation model, considering these two. In this study, the luminescence enhancement with increasing annealing temperature is shown. The optimal Tb concentration and annealing temperature for the highest Tb-related light emission intensity is determined. Finally, a parameter proportional to the number of optically active ions is found through the aforementioned model.