I've done some backlight work for instrument displays using CCFLs and designing custom drivers (12 Vdc to ~1000 Vac) so I have some experience with these designs. Recently a friend of mine was interested in doing some custom neon controllers for small diameter, short length tubes ( < 1m). Are the electrical characteristics for neon similar for CCFL? Has anyone experimented with modifying piezoelectric inverters to drive neon lamps?
I have done a bit of research, and found this video:
as well as several articles. It would appear that it is possible to drive neon tubes,although it may be slightly dim.