I have a little exterior light fixture on my outbuilding that recently blew off in high winds. The light still works, so the electrics didn't get damaged. It looks like it was just held on with two screws that got pulled out, which suggests that the holes are stripped and I can't just screw it back in.

I have zero experience with any real home improvement projects, so any advice would be helpful! Do I have to drill new holes? Reinforce the wall of the outbuilding before screwing it back in? Somehow filling the existing holes and screw them back in there?

View of the light fixture that was ripped out by high winds

  • 2
    A closer picture will help. Include a pic of the wall and of the wiring. Also, possibly the wiring on the inside of the barn. In the US, all wiring junctions are required to be inside an approved junction box, and it doesn't look like that's happened here. This might be a great opportunity to fix this so that a future incident doesn't start a fire.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Apr 24 at 16:44
  • It would be best to start with trying to identify manufacturer and downloading installation instructions. Looks to me like the fixture may be designed for power cable to penetrate the wall and terminate in a hub above the lamp. Issue I see is it looks like NM cable ("romex") which is not rated for wet location. If so then before re-attaching fixture to the wall the cable will need to be replaces with UF cable or other flexible cord as instructions indicate. Commented Apr 24 at 16:56
  • If the wind did that, but only that, I'm going to guess the light was mounted onto 1/4 inch plywood and nothing else, with the wrong screws, the wind wasn't that strong, they just let go. Is the inside finished with drywall? If not can you add a picture there? A backing block and a round outdoor junction box would make this great.
    – jay613
    Commented Apr 24 at 17:02
  • Doesn't look like plywood, 1/2" rough sawn pine perhaps.
    – Jasen
    Commented Apr 25 at 0:11

3 Answers 3


Disregarding any wiring legality issues such as those mentioned in comments on your post, I would reinstall the same or similar screws while having a helper hold scrap blocks of wood behind the siding. The screws should penetrate these blocks at least an inch. You could use some wood glue or construction adhesive to hold the blocks more permanently and add stability.


use longer, fatter screws if the wood is thick enough, else you'll need something that fastens against the back of the wood.

Assuming the inside wall is finished that will mean you need some sort of cavity anchor like mollys or toggle bolts.

If it's not finished then just a piece of framing wood or 3/4" thick plywood will do, (and then use bigger screws to screw through into that)


Filling the holes with wood filler and reusing them will not hold, that is more for cosmetic repairs.

Recommend to use thread-in inserts in softer woods and plywood where their coarse outside threads cut easily into the surrounding wood.


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