I noticed that my porch lamp was broken (by someone). I see a couple of small pieces of wood that is still attached to the base of the lamp. The tip of the light bulb was broken, which I removed from the lamp before I took the photos.

Should I hire a handyman or an electrician? Any advice is appreciated.

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    Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. It would be helpful if you could undo those two cap nuts visible in the second picture, which hold the base to the (now broken) mount. That would let you see (and post a picture of) what's behind. Careful about the power wires! – Daniel Griscom Dec 30 '16 at 4:17
  • I also worry that once the two screws come off, I will have to support the lamp because it will be held by the two electrical wires otherwise. I will try to take a look as you suggested. – wsw Dec 30 '16 at 4:38
  • Have some duct tape ready to temporarily support it. – Daniel Griscom Dec 30 '16 at 12:26
  • And, please give us some idea of how intrepid/skilled you are at handyman/electrical work. – Daniel Griscom Dec 30 '16 at 14:14
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    Where is this? Is it somewhere which allows owners to do their own electrical work? – wallyk Dec 31 '16 at 0:48

Partial answer is if you don't have and don't want to purchase a reliable electric meter/voltage tester than you should hire an electrician, the meter is to ensure the circuit is truly dead off. Don't use a $20 cheapo multimeter on mains circuits they have poor fusing and are dangerous. Always begin by checking the meter is working by testing a live circuit.

If the wiring just comes through a plain hole in the siding without an outlet box then it was not installed properly, it will need a remodel-box installed, assuming the remainder of the wiring install is acceptable this is a simple matter of buying the right size for your lamp's mounting screws. If there is no box and the wire looks old, less than 6 inches of extra, undersized, or lacks a ground wire then hire an electrician.

If there is a box, is it the right size and style for the lamp base? It is somewhat odd to have it screwed right into the siding rather than the box, but not inherently wrong as a few are designed for that. If the screws pulled out due to wood rot then you have much bigger issues, if they were just undersized screws then you can put in some wall anchors of appropriate style and size.

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I finally had the time to hire a handyman. He removed the lamp from the mounting bracket, which looked like:

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We discovered that the threads on the two mounting screws were not stripped. Without using the existing piece of wood as a spacer, he re-mounted the lamp. Electrically, the lamp is functional too. Unfortunately, he put in the black putty last, on the outside of the upper portion of the base.

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I will try to improve on the repair work by putting the black putty partially inside the base of the lamp, which was what the lamp looked like before it was damaged. Maybe I will try to install the wooden spacer too.

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