Let's consider the case when you need to hang pendant lights over a kitchen island or a dining table. First measure the width of the surface, or, if the table is round - its diameter. After that simply subtract 12 inches (or 30 cm) from this number and you will get the maximum diameter of a pendant light. Many homeowners prefer lighting fixtures with complex design featuring some accessories and decorations. Such lights usually appear a bit larger, so it will be a smart idea to opt for smaller alternatives.
A typical ceiling height is about 8 feet (240 cm). Hang lights approx. from 20 to 12 inches (30-50 cm) below the ceiling. For every additional foot (30 cm) of ceiling height you should add about 3 inch (7.5 cm) of stem or chain. In any case remember to leave at least one foot of clearance for people walking under the lights.
When hanging pendant lights over table or kitchen island, the best recommendation is two or three feet (60 - 90 cm) above the working surface. As you can see, there is room for maneuver - just remember to check for the sight lines of the people in this area. Nobody should get glare in the eyes or hit the head on a lighting fixture.
Now take a look at the length of the island. Place one light every two feet above the surface, and don't forget about the right size of a pendant. For a large island you will need two large or 3-4 medium pendant lights. For a small kitchen island one large or 2-3 small pendants will be enough.
The latest trend in interior design is to hang pendant lights in a bathroom. If you decide to hang pendants over a sink, remember a few simple rules. Leave enough space for people to stand at the sink with no risk of hitting their head on a light fixture. In this case it is better to hang the lights a bit higher than the usual two - three feet rule. Also, if there is a window in the bathroom, it is recommended not to choose large pendants since they can block out the view.