Welcome to ECN!.
Neon lighting and Cold Cathode lighting are pretty much the same thing, just different names.
Neon lighting, uses a High Voltage (in Kilo-Volts) to cause the gas fill in the tube to ionise and conduct an electric current.
Neon lighting is by no means cheap to install and great care is required in doing so too.
Fluorescent lighting on the other hand,if that is what you mean, only requires a Ballast to produce a high enough current to "strike" the tube and after that the Ballast only controls the tube current.
Hope that this is of some help.