The most obvious difference is that neon uses real glass tubing so there is always the potential for breakage. Real glass neon has been the mainstream in outdoor and business lighting and it still exists today more than ever. Even though neon has some potential shock hazards and high maintenance, real glass neon signs are still the most widely used forms of advertising but LED is definitely a formidable challenger.
LED signs and light sources derive from a string of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDS) spaced just far enough apart that the light source overlaps each other for a constant glow. LED's are generally wrapped in its own special polymer jacket for protection which is more lightweight than neon and more flexible. Because of this, installation of LED signs are faster than its counterpart and LED's have zero hotspots.
The energy savings with LED is also apparent in big way. LED's can save you up to 70% or more in energy costs while traditional glass neon runs hotter and uses more energy. To put it in better perspective, glass neon uses 15,000 volts while LED lights use only 24 volts. LED's are shock proof and have very little heat emitted which makes it absolutely safe to use. Keep in mind, when we are talking about the differences between Neon and LED, we are talking about a large outdoor area. The business neon signs we offer on our site, for indoor use, compared with its LED equivalent is merely pennies so if you are having trouble choosing between a neon sign and an LED sign for your home or business... flip a coin. They are both fantastic options and will last a lifetime.
In the end, LED lights are brighter, more energy efficient, easier to install and will surely be the light source of the future as technology advances. Neon signs however are perfect for small business applications and signage and has proven to be and continues to be a mainstream light source for personal and business use around the globe.
Lastly, its all about preference. In our opinion, neon is more vibrant, warm, inviting and attractive. Its more like art than just a sign. LED signs tend to be more industrial and straight forward. This may sound corny but Neon seems to be more "romantic" and "elegant" and LED's are more "medical" and "cold" if that makes any sense. Anyway, obviously, we are partial to neon and we hope you will enjoy all of our products.