Single-use plastics are everywhere. No matter how small they are, these plastics often end up in either landfills or the oceans, taking hundreds of years to decompose. When Heliograf designers Jeffrey Simpson and Angus Ware realized just how many single-use soy sauce packets went into a single sushi meal, the idea for Light Soy lamps was born.

Continue reading below
Our Featured Videos

In Japan, a packet containing one single serving of soy sauce often comes in the shape of a small fish made of polyethylene. Similar to plastic straws and other single-use plastics, the packets are too small to be easily recycled. The irony that these single-use plastic containers created to look like fish would later become ocean pollution with the potential to harm marine life was not lost on the designers.

Related: This lamp is a work of art that cleans the air

white and red fish-shaped lamp near fish-shaped soy sauce packet and sushi
white fish-shaped lamp near sushi, chopsticks and plastic bags

Heliograf decided to find a fun way to highlight this issue, creating something both beautiful and functional. The resulting design took about three years to develop, including two years that the designers spent learning how to perfect the glass-blowing technique.

one pendant fish-shaped lamp and one fish-shaped table-top lamp
fish-shaped lamp on a nightstand

Light Soy is a borosilicate glass lamp in the same shape as the iconic, fish-shaped soy sauce packets that have been used in Japan since the 1950s. It features an energy-efficient LED light and powder-coated aluminium accessories, with a frosted glass design that creates a soft glow when illuminated. There are two models available: The Light Soy Table Lamp and the Light Soy Pendant Light. The table lamp is portable and USB-C rechargeable with an aluminum base and a touch-controlled dimming feature, and the pendant version comes with a bespoke aluminium ceiling canopy. The modular components in the lamp make it simple to either repair or replace individual parts as needed. 

fish-shaped lamp hanging above a dining table
fish-shaped lamp packed inside a cardboard box

The lamp packaging is free of plastics; it is made using a recyclable and biodegradable bagasse sugarcane pulp and cardboard. To negate the need for a plastic carrying bag, the packaging also comes equipped with a cotton cord as a handle. Heliograf is a member of 1% For the Planet, with 1% of the Sydney-based design studio’s revenue going toward nonprofits aimed at preventing plastic pollution from entering our oceans.

+ Heliograf

Photography by Daniel Hermann-Zoll via Heliograf