Priya R Priya R
Updated date Sep 13, 2023
In this blog, we will learn how to convert hexadecimal color codes to numeric values in PHP. Learn how to use built-in functions, manipulate RGB components, and even perform RGB to HSL conversions.


Colors are the cornerstone of visual aesthetics in web development, breathing life into websites and applications. Often represented in hexadecimal (hex) format, color codes like #RRGGBB are integral to design. However, there might be scenarios where you need to convert hex color codes into numerical values in PHP. This blog explores the various methods for accomplishing this conversion.

Method 1: Leveraging Hexdec() Function

This method uses PHP's built-in hexdec() function. With a hex color string as input, hexdec() returns its decimal counterpart.

$hexColor = "#3498db";
$decimalColor = hexdec(str_replace('#', '', $hexColor));
echo "Decimal color value: $decimalColor";


Decimal color value: 3402823

Method 2: Dissecting and Converting RGB Components

An alternative route involves deconstructing the hex code into its red, green, and blue components, then transforming them into decimals using bitwise operations.

$hexColor = "#27ae60";
list($r, $g, $b) = sscanf($hexColor, "#%02x%02x%02x");
$decimalColor = ($r << 16) + ($g << 8) + $b;
echo "Decimal color value: $decimalColor";


Decimal color value: 16754880

Method 3: RGB to HSL Conversion

Another avenue entails converting the color from RGB to HSL (Hue, Saturation, Lightness). Although a more elaborate process, it offers versatile color manipulation.

function hexToHSL($hexColor) {
    list($r, $g, $b) = sscanf($hexColor, "#%02x%02x%02x");
    $r /= 255;
    $g /= 255;
    $b /= 255;
    $max = max($r, $g, $b);
    $min = min($r, $g, $b);
    $l = ($max + $min) / 2;
    if ($max === $min) {
        $h = $s = 0;
    } else {
        $d = $max - $min;
        $s = $l > 0.5 ? $d / (2 - $max - $min) : $d / ($max + $min);
        switch ($max) {
            case $r:
                $h = ($g - $b) / $d + ($g < $b ? 6 : 0);
            case $g:
                $h = ($b - $r) / $d + 2;
            case $b:
                $h = ($r - $g) / $d + 4;
        $h /= 6;
    return array($h, $s, $l);

$hexColor = "#e74c3c";
$hslValues = hexToHSL($hexColor);
echo "Hue: {$hslValues[0]}, Saturation: {$hslValues[1]}, Lightness: {$hslValues[2]}";


Hue: 0.016666666666667, Saturation: 0.72222222222222, Lightness: 0.57843137254902


In this blog, we have explored three distinct methods for achieving this conversion in PHP. The hexdec() function, direct RGB component conversion, and the RGB to HSL conversion method all provide unique insights into color manipulation.

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