So you'd like a pendant or a chandelier for your island. The problem is you're 5'4"(137 cm) and your Significant Other is 6'0" (183 cm). (Or worse, all your children are 6'0". And they're 12. Me? Envious? Not even a little bit, nope. *envious*)
Positioning the pendant over the island means somebody (other than you) will hit their head against the pendant as they're reaching across the counter to steal your cinnamon toast. Or, the lamp shade blocks the view across the counter and everyone is ducking and weaving to meet each other's gaze.
If you select a standard pendant light, you can't raise it too high or it looks out of proportion with the rest of the room.
The solution? Pulley lighting!
Pulley lighting is a throw-back to the days of gas lighting where gas lamps were pulled down from the ceiling in order to light the gas wicks. Once electricity hit, the pulley light went the way of the dodo bird. Now instead of gas, it's now electric and it's making a comeback, at least for me. I love them for the multiple use for different height cooks and the safety issue.
Look at all the styles they work with: transitional, contemporary, and even traditional. Raise it when your island is surrounded with family or guests, and lower it for brighter light when chopping vegetables.
It also works well for nook/dining seating as well. How many times have you moved the table for a dinner party and hit your head on the chandelier? (I picture some of you saying, "That's never happened to me" while many of you are nodding and rubbing your heads. *grin*)
Look for "pendant pulleys" or "pulley lighting" online. (They should really make them for the 20-foot-high entry halls, don't you think?)