Cumaru & Exotic Hardwood Blog

Outdoor Lighting Ideas To Brighten Up Your Deck

Outdoor Lighting Ideas to Brighten Up your Deck

Do you want to beautify your deck and you don’t know how? In this post, we show you four outdoor lighting ideas to brighten up your deck.

Whether brightening up winter nights or illuminating your summer evening soirée, the right deck lighting can really enhance your hardwood deck and outdoor living area. The beautiful chocolate red of Cumaru (Brazilian Teak) is a perfect backdrop for the warm glow of evening lights. In the past 20 years, there have been many innovations, which guarantee everyone can find the right way to make their outdoor space bright and lively. Even if you do not have a deck or patio, just putting a table and chairs outside with some beautiful lighting will create an impromptu outdoor living space.

Deck additions are in demand this year as are outdoor kitchens, outdoor movie screenings, and fire pits, amongst other exterior additions.  Here are a few outdoor lighting ideas you can mix and match that are a surefire way of making your hardwood deck even more stunning:

Deck Integrated Fixtures

Cumaru Deck & Blue Pool At Night

Integrating outdoor lighting ideas into your deck design is one of the best ways to showcase your home. The subtle lighting between deck stairs, strip lights, and downcast lights is a great outdoor accent as well as a safety feature. There are various deck lighting options, including low-voltage deck lighting, solar-powered deck lights, auto-sensing lights, and more. With today’s technology, lights can be set directly from your smartphone, changing in intensity as well as color. 

You can turn your deck into a disco floor!  Remember to speak to your deck contractor about your lighting plans so that the decking boards can be cut accordingly. Be sure to hire a licensed electrician and expert deck builder to ensure the safety and best results for your deck lighting project.

Cumaru Deck In Firepit


Outside Lanterns

Possibly one of the oldest forms to light an outdoor area, lanterns offer a soft and inviting light. Regardless if you use wick candles or battery-powered candles, lanterns placed along uneven surfaces help prevent accidents. Using a variety of lantern sizes can become a focal point. Mason jars create a country-chic look and add soft lighting along the patio when placed along the deck rails.

Lantern On Cumaru Bridge

A great place to put them is along the deck’s edge or pool’s corners. Hanging lanterns from the porch beams can light a table or bar area creating a romantic feel. Lanterns can also be hung from the porch ceiling or a large tree. Outdoor lanterns create ambiance, provide safety, and are a great way to see how much light you need and where to best distribute it.

Lamp Made Jar Candle Hanging

Tiki Torches

Texas Backyard Firepit

As an alternative to lanterns but still using real fire, tiki torches can be used to indicate a path or surround your deck and entertainment area. Although tiki torches conjure a tropical island vibe, they can be used even in the dead of winter and enjoyed from a glass porch. If you are in a warm climate though, tiki torches have the added benefit of keeping the mosquitos away when citronella fuel is used.

Outdoor Lighting Idea Tip:

Keep Lights Downward Facing

Interior/Exterior Design Pavillion

One thing to always keep in mind when planning your outdoor lighting is how the lights will affect nocturnal creatures or your neighbors. In a world of light pollution, it is possible to reduce the negative effects of bright lights. One technique is to turn your lights to face downwards or put a protective shield over the top part of your lights (a hood or shield). 

Placing the main source of light underneath the covered porch or decking area also reduces the amount of light sent out into space. Try to use low voltage lights to reduce the brightness and thus reduce the glare emitted by your outdoor lighting.

Live Edge Slab With Cumaru Ceiling
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8 Things to Know About Adding a Cumaru Deck

You’ve made the choice to go with Cumaru hardwood decking. Here are eight important things you should understand about costs, requirements, and other considerations for using this beautiful tropical hardwood for building.

Cumaru Deck

In the design world, the buzz word now is outdoor living, and according to the American Institute of Architects, many are voting for outdoor kitchens as being the most wanted amenity. And, because a great way of enjoying the fresh air and sunshine is by extending your living space outside, this makes sense. However, when you don’t have an inviting space, it’s difficult to want to spend time outdoors.

Therefore, a charming Cumaru hardwood deck is the perfect way of turning your backyard into a tranquil oasis as a solo retreat or for entertaining. If you’ve picked a Cumaru deck, you likely already know about all the benefits of using Cumaru, including:

  • Mold and mildew resistance
  • Fire rating (same as steel and concrete)
  • Longevity
  • Eco-friendliness

Even so, there are still some things you should understand about your new deck.

  1. Did you Purchase the Right Kind of Cumaru Deck?

    Cumaru is a kiln-dried wood. It’s important that Cumaru is dried properly since it gives stability to the wood, which determines if your deck will warp or not. Cumaru decking boards are specifically dried for use outdoors.

    There’s also Cumaru that’s kiln-dried to use indoors, but when using Cumaru outside that’s intended for interior use, it will expand, ruining your project. This goes for the use of Cumaru decking indoors when it was kiln dried for outside but is installed indoors; it will shrink. Therefore, it’s essential when ordering your Cumaru to specify you’re building an exterior deck and ask how the Cumaru was dried.

    Photo Credit: Gonzalo Mardones Arquitectos from Instagram.

  2. The Materials Used for Structure Are Essential

    If you chose Cumaru hardwood for your decking needs, it’s likely because aesthetics and quality are important to you. It’s essential you use top-of-the-line hardware when building your underlying structure in order to protect your investment. We suggest you use hardware designed specifically for tropical hardwood use. For instance, DeckWise makes special hidden fastener clips and stainless steel screws for hardwood decks. They also make Cumaru plugs (ribbed or smooth) for face screwing decks. These plugs are made of Cumaru. They’re simple to glue over stainless-steel screws for creating a seamless look across the deck.

    For all your wood connectors, we highly suggest Simpson Strong Tie. The structural integrity of your decking won’t just extend the life of your deck, but will also ensure a stronger and safer deck. Therefore, when placing your Cumaru order, make sure you order all required hardware for installation as well. One of our representatives will happily help you in the calculation and provide you with a free quote. Don’t hesitate to contact us today.

  3. Plan Out Shade, Lighting, and Accessories Prior to Star Adding a Cumaru Deck

    They say the proper lighting is everything, and decks aren’t any different. You can set a relaxing mood outdoors with ambient lighting. Good lighting is also essential for safety. Besides, you really wouldn’t want to walk up or down your Cumaru stairway without railing or stair lighting. Lighting around or over your deck will increase how much time you spend on your deck as well.

    Cumaru WIth Lighting
    Photo Credit: Benjamin Scheid C.B.C. on Instagram

    For instance, if you want to grill on your Cumaru deck, you should think about how you’ll light your grill (nobody wants to have to hold a flashlight over you while you’re grilling). It’s essential you speak with your deck installer regarding your lighting plan, so the electrician won’t need to tear a bunch of your Cumaru deck boards out later. Before you have your Cumaru deck installed, discuss:

    • Ambient lighting
    • Safety lighting
    • Task or functional lighting

    Not only should you consider the way your deck will feel and look at night, but you should also consider how it will during the day too, particularly during the hottest part of the day. Fortunately, Cumaru doesn’t become hot in the sun like some metal or composite decks do, which is the perfect reason for choosing Cumaru in and of itself.

    Finding the proper way of shading your Cumaru deck is essential not just to make you comfortable, but also to protect your deck. Although harsh sunlight doesn’t damage Cumaru, it still fades the color to silver gray from its original brownish red. You may want to think about installing a Cumaru pergola over a portion of your deck or the entire thing, or at least consider using a sun umbrella.


  4. You’ll Require a Permit

    Every city has rules and regulations governing whether you’re able to build a deck and how you should build it. You can save a great deal of money and time by visiting your local building department as you wouldn’t want any unexpected surprises after you’ve built your Cumaru deck. The city doesn’t have different rules for building a Cumaru deck over one built from other materials. However, they will let you know about any variances and setbacks needed from your property line to the road or sidewalk. They’ll also have an inspector come out to check the framing underneath your deck. This is a good step to ensuring the longevity and safety of your Cumaru deck.

  5. Prep the Area Underneath your Deck to Prevent Weeds

    If your deck is being installed over dirt, make sure you spray the area with a herbicide and then cover the ground with a plastic or black fabric covering to ensure unwanted weeds don’t start appearing from underneath your deck. It’s simpler to take care of unwanted plants and roots before you build your deck. A charming Cumaru deck that has greenery coming through its boards isn’t a situation you want to deal with. You may even want to pour some gravel underneath your deck to help deter animals from making their nests under it.

    Cumaru Decking

  6. Properly Maintain your Cumaru Deck

    The type of maintenance and how often you maintain your Cumaru deck will depend on things like:

    • If your deck is covered
    • Where you live
    • If your deck is near a pool
    • If your deck is near the ocean

    If your Cumaru deck has direct sunlight exposure for over four hours daily, if it’s near water and/or if it’s under a tree that drops a great deal of foliage, you’ll probably want to have your deck serviced a minimum of twice a year.

    You’ll need to pressure wash and re-oil your Cumaru deck approximately every six months. If you have a pergola covering your Cumaru deck, or it’s under a covered area, you may need to stain it every couple of years. When you install your deck, you should assess and observe the location you plan on installing it to ensure you take the environmental and light factors into consideration.

    Sanding Of Ipe

  7. The Cumaru’s Wood Color Changes Over Time

    The Cumaru’s beautiful auburn reddish color is a factor that makes it a favorite choice of decking for many. But, being exposed to the sun will “bleach” the Cumaru, meaning it will turn a gray color. Ipe and teak wood also take on this silver patina, as it’s called, as well when exposed to the sun. The silver patina color is very natural looking and beautiful and doesn’t change your Cumaru deck’s longevity.

    If the silver look is what you like, you won’t need to maintain your deck as much. The only maintenance required for your Cumaru deck is pressure washing. But, if you would rather it retain its original color, you’ll need to oil your deck regularly. Again, leaving your Cumaru unoiled or oiled won’t have any effect on the structural integrity of your deck’s boards, as Cumaru is naturally mildew, mold and insect resistant and won’t splinter or scratch easily.

    Cumaru Color

  8. With Cumaru Deck, Your Home’s Value Will Increase

    Installing a Cumaru deck is a perfect way of increasing your property’s value. First, when you add a deck, you’re basically increasing the living space, particularly if you’re adding an outdoor kitchen, fire pit, outdoor seating, or other accessories. By selecting Cumaru specifically for your deck material, you’re selecting a luxury building material. Installing a Cumaru deck to your home is a solid investment, both for the resale value of your home and your own personal enjoyment.

    So, go ahead and enjoy the fresh air, sunshine, and all the other outdoor activities on your beautiful Cumaru deck. It’s a smart decision that will guarantee very little maintenance or none at all, particularly from mold, insects, or fungus. Be sure to let us know how we can assist you in any way and remember, with Cumaru Decking Florida, you’ll always receive the best price on Cumaru. Visit our website or give us a call today.

So enjoy the sunshine, the fresh air, and all the outdoor festivities on a beautiful Cumaru deck. It is a wise choice that will guarantee little to no maintenance, especially from insects, mold, or fungus. Please let us know if we can help you in any way, and know we will always give you the best price on Cumaru. Contact us today!

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Cumaru – A Trending Hardwood Among The Stars.

Brazilian Teak or Cumaru is a beautiful South American hardwood. Along with its undeniable aesthetic beauty, many praise this wood for its durability. It has a more than a 60-year life span, even when it’s exposed to the outdoor elements.

Because it’s a renewable and natural resource as well as the other benefits, Cumaru is a popular hardwood for use in luxury projects. A lot of movie stars and famous designers are selecting this hardwood for their houses. Not just this, but even cities are noticing this outstanding tropical hardwood and choosing to use it for all types of public works projects.

Take a look at Cumaru’s beauty and become inspired by these gorgeous projects:

Jennifer Aniston’s Home: a Cumaru Natural Dream

Jennifer Aniston’s Beverly Hills home was featured by Architectural Digest. Stephen Shadley designed it and reported that the floors, walls and eves were all made from Cumaru. Aniston selected this hardwood because it’s an ecologically sound option since it can be harvested from fallen trees and because of the richness and warmth of the texture and color.

Jennifer Aniston Cumaru Home

Image by: Architectural Digest.  Photography by Peggy Sirota and Scott Frances July 1, 2017

Giorgio Armani’s House in Antigua

When Giorgio Armani, fashion’s top designer, selected a type of hardwood for his villas that overlook Galley Bay, he went with Cumaru. Part of the Caribbean Island living allure is the outdoor-indoor experience you can enjoy year-round, and this hardwood is the ideal wood to achieve this goal. According to Architectural Digest, Armani’s home’s wood beams are in Cumaru, complementing the ceiling fans and island feel.

Armani Antigua Home

Photo Credit: Architectural Digest. Photography by Durston Saylor November 11, 2016

This visually impacting wood can be found throughout the interiors, decking and stairs. In fact, it’s the perfect choice for interiors and exteriors, particularly in Antigua and other tropical climates. Its natural oils and hardness keep it from splintering or rotting, both extremely essential to keeping bare feet safe.

Armani Antigua Home II
Photo Credit: Architectural Digest. Photography by Durston Saylor November 11, 2016

Interested in a Cumaru deck? Here at Cumaru Decking Florida, we can offer you the highest quality decking at a very competitive price. Contact us for your free estimate today.

DJ Khaled’s Florida Beach Mansion

These days in Florida, minimalist and modern are the top trends and when DJ Khaled bought his five-bedroom mansion, they weren’t lost. One of the first things you notice throughout the interior and exterior of his home is the gorgeous Brazilian Teak wooden ceilings.

The tongue and groove Cumaru cladding for modern Florida homes’ eaves has become extremely popular, particularly given the minimal maintenance required for keeping the wooden color. The wood used on a ceiling, with little sun exposure, is less likely to become sun-bleached as a deck does. It also provides a warm tone to what would have been a very square and stark home.

Cumaru ceiling

Photo Credit: Douglas Elliman

Brazilian Teak is also a favorite choice for ceilings covering exterior areas like outdoor kitchens and bars. The Cumaru’s warm color, as well as the interlocking grain, makes it perfect for tying natural colors and nature into the home. It provides a luxurious and cozy feel to any outside space. If you’re interested in learning more about the types of beams best for a tongue and groove ceiling, feel free to contact us for your free quote.


You won’t just see Brazilian Teak in private luxury homes. Today, cities have decided to use this exotic hardwood for their large projects as well. Cumaru’s durability makes it the perfect choice because it guarantees the structure’s integrity and the safety of all.

Plaza 33 NYC

Photo credit:

It’s a long-term investment that makes a lot of sense since Cumaru structures can last for more than 60 years. If you visit New York City’s Midtown Plaza 33, you’ll see gorgeous benches you can relax on. Because of its durability, this wood was picked for the bleacher steps. The planter benches surrounding the area are also designed with beautiful Brazilian Teak.

It seems the popularity of Cumaru spans from the West Coast all the way to the East Coast with famous stars in New York, Los Angeles, and Florida all going with Brazilian Teak for their projects. Cumaru’s impressive color tones range from a deep maroon to a light brown and are a big reason why designers and celebrities have selected this tropical hardwood.

The wood’s longevity and its unique hardness are one of the cities’ reasons for choosing it for their development plans. Overall, Brazilian Teak is an amazing tropical hardwood that’s worth the investment.

Interested in hearing more about his fabulous hardwood? Contact our sales team, and we’ll happily provide you with answers to your questions and/or a free quote.

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Are you considering Cumaru for your decking? Here’s what you should know

Cumaru wood is a beautiful hardwood that is found in the tropical environment and grows in the dense forests of Brazil. The wood is rated very high in terms of durability, workability, and quality. This hardwood is well-regarded for its natural resistance to insects, decay, and rot, which makes it suitable for use in several climates. Cumaru is often chosen for decking projects due to its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions and its attractive appearance. Additionally, it has a high Janka hardness rating of 3,330 lfbf, indicating its strength and durability. Certainly, you might have considered Cumaru for your deck, but have you ever thought about it for siding, a pergola, a ceiling, or even furniture? Here, we present you with other options for working with this incredible wood: 

  1. Decking: Cumaru is widely used for decking due to its resistance to decay, insects, and harsh weather conditions. Its durability makes it an excellent choice for creating long-lasting and visually appealing outdoor spaces.

  2. Flooring: Cumaru‘s hardness and resistance to wear make it suitable for high-traffic areas, such as flooring in homes and commercial spaces. It’s warm and rich color adds an elegant touch to interior designs.

  3. Furniture: The strength and stability of Cumaru make it an ideal choice for crafting high-quality and durable furniture pieces. Its natural luster and unique grain pattern contribute to the aesthetic appeal of furniture. For example, huge doors, special chairs and many other options.

  4. Exterior Construction:  Cumaru is often used in exterior construction projects, including siding, fences, and pergolas. Its natural resistance to decay and insects makes it a reliable choice for long-lasting structures




As we were saying, Cumaru hardwood offers several key benefits that make it a popular choice for different applications, especially in outdoor settings. So, If you are nor sure if choosing Cumaru for your deck is a good option, Here are some of the most important benefits for this wood that you should know!

  • 1. Durability: Cumaru is known for its exceptional hardness and durability. It has a making it resistant to wear, impact, and heavy traffic. This durability makes it well-suited for outdoor decking.

  • 2. Resistance to Decay and Insects: Cumaru is naturally resistant to decay, fungi, and insect attacks. This resistance makes it an excellent choice for outdoor applications, as it can withstand exposure to moisture and insects without the need for chemical treatments.
  • 3. Stability: Cumaru has good dimensional stability, meaning it is less prone to warping, twisting, or cupping. This stability is crucial for maintaining the structural integrity and appearance of decking or other outdoor structures.
  • 4. Attractive Appearance: Cumaru wood features a warm, rich color palette ranging from reddish-brown to golden-brown with dark streaks. Its natural luster and grain patterns contribute to an aesthetically pleasing appearance, adding beauty to outdoor spaces.
  • 5. Low Maintenance: Cumaru requires minimal maintenance to preserve its appearance and durability. While it can be left to weather naturally, applying a protective finish can enhance its longevity and retain its original color.
  • 6. Versatility: Cumaru is versatile and can be used for various applications, including decking, siding, ceiling, flooring, outdoor furniture, and even boat building. Its adaptability makes it a flexible choice for different projects.
  • 7. Long Lifespan: Due to its durability and resistance to decay, Cumaru has a long lifespan. Properly maintained Cumaru structures can last for decades, providing a reliable and long-term solution for outdoor projects.
  • 8. Environmentally Friendly: Our Platinum Woods Cumaru, is often sourced from responsibly managed forests, and its long lifespan contributes to sustainability. Choosing Cumaru from reputable sources helps support sustainable forestry practices.

Interior Cumaru Ceiling


While Cumaru and Ipe share some similarities, they also have distinct differences. Cumaru tends to have a warmer color palette with shades of brown, red, and purple, while Ipe tends to have a darker, more uniform brown color. Both woods are incredibly durable, but Cumaru is generally less expensive than Ipe, making it an attractive alternative for those seeking a budget-friendly tropical hardwood. At Brazilian Lumber, we carry our Platinum Woods Cumaru in all lengths and dimensions. 

When considering Cumaru for a project, it’s essential to consider these benefits against your specific needs and preferences to determine if this is the right hardwood for your application. This tropical hardwood is used by famous architects, designers, and even celebrities worldwide. This wood has also made its mark in public spaces. A case in point is New York’s Midtown, where Cumaru benches offer not just a place to sit but a work of art that withstands the rigors of time and heavy use. The features that make Cumaru a popular choice among celebrities make it ideal for public spaces as well. Its resistance to wear and tear and low maintenance requirements are particularly suited for high-traffic areas like public parks and squares. In Florida, where the weather can shift between sunny hot and persistently rainy all in one day, Cumaru has been gaining popularity for some time. As Cumaru can withstand extreme weather conditions without warping or bending, it is ideal for the Sunshine State’s fickle weather. Also, when used for ceilings, Cumaru requires very little maintenance if it’s not in the direct  path of sunlight, and thus not exposed to UV rays which “bleach” out the color of Cumaru unless protected by a hardwood oil or sealer. 

f you are on the way to start building, it is very likely that you have asked yourself: what wood should I choose?

With so many options on the market, you may feel dizzy.

Both for its elegance, durability, and beauty, here are three reasons why you should choose Cumaru over Ipe.

If you want to acquire Cumaru  for your next project. You can reach out to Brazilian Lumber and place your order. Any of our sales representatives will happily assist you.

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Cumaru Why Choose It Over Ipe

Why Choose Cumaru over Ipe?

Why Chose Cumaru Over Ipe

If you are on the way to start building, it is very likely that you have asked yourself: what wood should I choose?

With so many options on the market, you may feel dizzy.

Both for its elegance, durability, and beauty, here are three reasons why you should choose Cumaru over Ipe.

It can be difficult choosing which material you’re going to use for your deck, given all the options out there. However, once you dive into the decking world, you’ll find many options with different guarantees and price points, such as:

  • Recycled material options
  • Plastic options
  • Tropical woods
  • Domestic woods

If you make the choice to go with a real wooden deck, the contractor will typically provide you with a couple options:

  1. Ipe deck
  2. Pressure treated deck


So here are 3 reasons to choose Cumaru over Ipe:

1. Cumaru has the same fire rating as concrete and steel

Fire Rating

A pressure-treated deck is a more economical choice, but you’ll have a lot of issues with termites, splinters, and rotting, meaning your deck will likely only last approximately 10 years. However, there are many advantages to option b, like being scratch-proof, rot resistant, won’t require much maintenance, won’t splinter, and it’s the most durable wood out there, lasting up to 70 years. But, while you are probably already in love with the idea of going with option b, you may not be any longer once you hear the price.

Another option is Cumaru that just may be the great compromise you need. It has all the outstanding properties and qualities of Ipe wood, but is much less expensive. So, if Ipe and Cumaru are so similar, then what really makes them different?

Cumaru has a lot of color variation and is a lighter color than Ipe. It can range from reddish-brown to a golden brown color. If you don’t oil or maintain Cumaru, it won’t become “sun-bleached” and turn to a silver patina color like Ipe would. Ipe is a darker color than Cumaru when first installed. That said, you can stain Cumaru to look darker, depending on the type of sealer or oil used.

2. The difference in Janka hardness is only 5%


Janka Hardness Scale

The international standard for measuring the hardness of wood is using the Janka hardness scale. Essentially, the Janka hardness scale measures a sample of wood’s resistance to wear and denting. Ipe has a high ranking, but Cumaru isn’t far behind. Ipe has a 3,510 lbf (15,620 N), whereas Cumaru has a 3,330 lbf (14,800 N) which is only a five percent difference. When you compare that to pine’s hardness of 380 lbf (1,690  N), you’ll see that Cumaru is very hard and durable.

Cumaru, like Ipe, is very durable, thanks to its natural oils and tight grain that keep rot, insects, and fungus from attacking it. Some other great benefits (like Ipe) of Cumaru are:

  • It doesn’t splinter
  • It doesn’t bend
  • It doesn’t overheat in the sun

In fact, when you compare Cumaru to Ipe, it only has a two percent bending difference.


3. Cumaru is 30% less expensive than Ipe


The biggest difference between Cumaru and Ipe is the price. The more cost-effective option is Cumaru. Usually, when you buy this wood, you’ll save around 30 percent as compared to Ipe. This can make a huge difference, particularly if you have a bigger space to cover.

Overall, Cumaru is a superior choice for decking wood. Its hardness, stability, and strength make it ideal for all climates, which is why you see it a lot in subtropical and tropical areas. It’s also the perfect choice for rain screens, siding, pergolas, louvers, and boardwalks. The decking boards may be milled easily for tongue and groove applications and come in various sizes. It’s a beautiful and robust wood you can trust to last and provide you with superb value for your money.

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