This article presents the design, construction and characterization of a novel type of light probe for measuring the angular radiance distribution of light fields. The differential acceptance angle (DAA) probe can resolve the directionality of a light field in environments with steep light gradients, such as microbial mats, without the need to remove, reorient, and reinsert the probe, a clear advantage over prior techniques. The probe consists of an inner irradiance sensor inside a concentric, moveable light-absorbing sheath. The radiative intensity in a specific zenith direction can be calculated by comparing the irradiance onto the sensor at different acceptance angles. We used this probe to measure the angular radiance distribution of two sample light fields, and observed good agreement with a conventional radiance probe. The DAA probe will aid researchers in understanding light transfer physics in dense microbial communities and expedite validation of numerical radiative transfer models for these environments.