lit-html is now part of the Lit library–see the new site at This site documents lit-html 1.0, no longer the current version.

Styling templates

lit-html focuses on one thing: rendering HTML. How you apply styles to the HTML lit-html creates depends on how you're using it—for example, if you're using lit-html inside a component system like LitElement, you can follow the patterns used by that component system.

In general, how you style HTML will depend on whether you're using shadow DOM:

To help with dynamic styling, lit-html provides two directives for manipulating an element's class and style attributes:

Setting classes with classMap

Like styleMap, the classMap directive lets you set a group of classes based on an object.

import {html} from 'lit-html';
import {classMap} from 'lit-html/directives/class-map.js';

const itemTemplate = (item) => {
const classes = {selected: item.selected};
return html`<div class="menu-item ${classMap(classes)}">Classy text</div>`;

More information: see classMap in the Template syntax reference.

Inline styles with styleMap

You can use the styleMap directive to set inline styles on an element in the template.

import {html} from 'lit-html';
import {styleMap} from 'lit-html/directives/style-map.js';


const myTemplate = () => {
styles = {
color: myTextColor,
backgroundColor: highlight ? myHighlightColor : myBackgroundColor,

return html`
<div style=${styleMap(styles)}>
Hi there!

More information: see styleMap in the Template syntax reference.

Rendering in shadow DOM

When rendering into a shadow root, you usually want to add a style sheet inside the shadow root to the template, so you can style the contents of the shadow root.

:host { ... }
.test { ... }
<div class="test">...</div>

This pattern may seem inefficient, since the same style sheet is reproduced in each instance of an element. However, the browser can deduplicate multiple instances of the same style sheet, so the cost of parsing the style sheet is only paid once.

A new feature available in some browsers is Constructable Stylesheets Objects. This proposed standard allows multiple shadow roots to explicitly share style sheets. LitElement uses this feature in its static styles property.

Bindings in style sheets

Binding to values in the style sheet is an antipattern, because it defeats the browser's style sheet optimizations. It's also not supported by the ShadyCSS polyfill.

:host {
background-color: ${themeColor};

Alternatives to using bindings in a style sheet:

See Inline styles with styleMap and Setting classes with classMap for examples of binding to the style and class attributes.

Polyfilled shadow DOM: ShadyDOM and ShadyCSS

If you're using shadow DOM, you'll probably need to use polyfills to support older browsers that don't implement shadow DOM natively. ShadyDOM and ShadyCSS are polyfills, or shims, that emulate shadow DOM isolation and style scoping.

The lit-html shady-render module provides necessary integration with the shady CSS shim. If you're writing your own custom element base class that uses lit-html and shadow DOM, you'll need to use shady-render and also take some steps on your own.

The ShadyCSS README provides some directions for using shady CSS. When using it with lit-html: