The average distance between a pendant light and a kitchen island counter top is 30 inches. Pendant lights can be hung higher in the case of taller family members.
Considerations should be made regarding the size of the pendant and the amount of light it sheds onto the counter before it's installed. If a cook top is incorporated in the island, raise the pendant 3 to 6 inches higher to reduce the heat it would be subjected to when cooking. For more flexibility and light control that offers ease in food preparation and other kitchen tasks, connect the pendant light to a dimmer switch.