Circa Lighting Blog | For kitchen islands that are shorter in length (or for lovers of perfect symmetry!) consider installing a pair of pendants. Create clean lines with petite hanging shades, or turn up the drama with oversized fixtures. Rules-of-thumb: be sure to leave ample room (30″ – 36″) between the bottoms of the pendants and the surface. The widest points of the pendants should be spaced at least 30″ apart, equidistant from the center of the island for an even spread of light.