LED strip lights and LED neon lights are completely different lights. And usually used for completely different reasons.
Looking at the aesthetics, LED neon lights is linear LED lighting inside a PVC or silicon jacket – the result being a continuous diffused light. At night it generally looks like old fashioned glass neon. With LED light strips the individual LEDs are clearly visible, and you see dots, and generally speaking, quite bright individual LED lamps.
There’s generally one type of LED light strips – SMD LEDs mounted onto a thin copper FPC, which could be straight or “wavy” – and these strips can be flexible or mounted on a rigid surface, the latter also known as rigid LED strips.
There are two types of LED neon lights – that containing SMD LEDs on an FPC (just like flexible strips) or LED neon lights containing DIP LEDs. The internals of these two types of neon flex are quite different. You also get PVC and silcon jacket neon flex, however that’s for a different discussion.
DIP LED neon lights tends to have fewer LEDs per meter, usually up to 80 per meter, meaning you can often still see individual LEDs as dots although they are diffused. With SMD neon lights you can get upwards of 120 LEDs per meter meaning the light is much more evenly distributed and individual LEDs are not usually visible – and here you get that really smooth neon look.
That explains to a small degree the difference between neon lights and light strips. As to which one is more suitable for decoration, I’d suggest a few things for you to consider in order to make up your own mind as to which is most suitable for your requirement:
- LED neon lights is more tricky to install since it generally requires mounting channels to be used, whereas LED strip lights can be mounted either with the 3M adhesive tape or mounting clips.
- Do you require a smooth, dot-free look? Something like old glass neon?
- Its mainly depends on the place where you are planning to decorate. If you are planning in kitchen, its better to use LED strip lights, otherwise LED neon lights are better.
- LED strip lights tend to be more used in commercial and home applications. But I think the LED strip lights could be used in the same way, if you use a frosted lens cover for the strip lights. A frosted cover will stop glare.