In the last two decades engine research has been mainly focused on reducing pollutant emissions. This fact together with growing awareness about the impacts of climate change are leading to an increase in the importance of thermal efficiency over other criteria in the design of internal combustion engines (ICE). In this framework, the heat transfer to the combustion chamber walls can be considered as one of the main sources of indicated efficiency diminution. In particular, in modern direct-injection diesel engines, the radiation emission from soot particles can constitute a significant component of the efficiency losses. Thus, the main of objective of the current research was to evaluate the amount of energy lost to soot radiation relative to the input fuel chemical energy during the combustion event under several representative engine loads and speeds. Moreover, the current research characterized the impact of different engine operating conditions on radiation heat transfer. For this purpose, a combination of theoretical and experimental tools were used. In particular, soot radiation was quantified with a sensor that uses two-color thermometry along with its corresponding simplified radiation model. Experiments were conducted using a 4-cylinder direct-injection light-duty diesel engine fully instrumented with thermocouples. The goal was to calculate the energy balance of the input fuel chemical energy. Results provide a characterization of radiation heat transfer for different engine loads and speeds as well as radiation trends for different engine operating conditions.