The construction of a solid state device-based pyranometer designated to broadband irradiance measurements is presented in this paper. The device is built on the physical basis that the temperature difference between two bodies of identical shape and external surface area, identically exposed to the incident radiation, but having different absorption and heat transfer coefficients (e.g. one body is painted white and the other is painted black), is proportional to the incident irradiance. This proportionality may be put in evidence if the two bodies consisting of identical arrays of correspondingly painted semiconductor diodes, due to the thermal behaviour of their p-n junction. It is theoretically predicted and experimentally confirmed that the voltage drop across a diode passed through a constant forward current linearly decreases with the temperature of the junction. In other words, a signal proportional to the irradiance of the light source may be obtained via conventional analog electronics. The calibration of the apparatus, as performed by means of a professional device (LP PYRA 03), indicates a good linearity.