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CSS HSL Colors

HSL Value

In CSS, a color can be specified using hue, saturation, and lightness (HSL) in the form:

hsl(hue, saturation, lightness)

Hue is a degree on the color wheel from 0 to 360. 0 is red, 120 is green, and 240 is blue.

Saturation is a percentage value, 0% means a shade of gray, and 100% is the full color.

Lightness is also a percentage, 0% is black, 50% is neither light or dark, 100% is white

Experiment by mixing the HSL values below:

hsl(0, 100%, 50%)








hsl(0, 100%, 50%)
hsl(240, 100%, 50%)
hsl(147, 50%, 47%)
hsl(300, 76%, 72%)
hsl(39, 100%, 50%)
hsl(248, 53%, 58%)


Saturation can be described as the intensity of a color.

100% is pure color, no shades of gray

50% is 50% gray, but you can still see the color.

0% is completely gray, you can no longer see the color.


hsl(0, 100%, 50%)
hsl(0, 80%, 50%)
hsl(0, 60%, 50%)
hsl(0, 40%, 50%)
hsl(0, 20%, 50%)
hsl(0, 0%, 50%)


The lightness of a color can be described as how much light you want to give the color, where 0% means no light (black), 50% means 50% light (neither dark nor light) 100% means full lightness (white).


hsl(0, 100%, 0%)
hsl(0, 100%, 25%)
hsl(0, 100%, 50%)
hsl(0, 100%, 75%)
hsl(0, 100%, 90%)
hsl(0, 100%, 100%)

Shades of gray are often defined by setting the hue and saturation to 0, and adjust the lightness from 0% to 100% to get darker/lighter shades:


hsl(0, 0%, 0%)
hsl(0, 0%, 24%)
hsl(0, 0%, 47%)
hsl(0, 0%, 71%)
hsl(0, 0%, 94%)
hsl(0, 0%, 100%)

HSLA Value

HSLA color values are an extension of HSL color values with an alpha channel - which specifies the opacity for a color.

An HSLA color value is specified with:

hsla(hue, saturation, lightness, alpha)

The alpha parameter is a number between 0.0 (fully transparent) and 1.0 (not transparent at all):

Experiment by mixing the HSLA values below:

hsla(0, 100%, 50%, 0.5)










hsla(9, 100%, 64%, 0)
hsla(9, 100%, 64%, 0.2)
hsla(9, 100%, 64%, 0.4)
hsla(9, 100%, 64%, 0.6)
hsla(9, 100%, 64%, 0.8)
hsla(9, 100%, 64%, 1)