In order to understand the processes involved in the laser-induced incandescence (LII) technique, the value of soot temperature at the peak of the incandescence signal has been studied. To this purpose, an absolute two-color LII technique has been applied on ethylene and methane diffusion flames, based on the comparison with a calibrated tungsten ribbon lamp. The dependence of peak temperature on the fluence has been investigated by using a sharply edged probe beam. Above a certain fluence threshold a value close to 4000 K was obtained for both flames at all locations, that means in largely different soot conditions. At a suitably selected laser fluence, radial and axial profiles of peak soot temperature and volume fraction were performed. Soot volume fraction data have been validated with results from laser extinction technique measurements. The quite low values observed for methane prove the sensitivity of the LII technique. Moreover, a discussion about soot refractive index is presented. In the visible region a test of its influence on both soot volume fraction and soot peak temperature was carried out, while in the infrared the heating process was analyzed.