Neon is a material plugin that converts any object to a lightsource. It works with the radiosity engine built into VIZ4/max5 or higher.
-) neon works great with colorful gradients in the lightmap slot.
-) don't be afraid of pushing the energy value very high. typical values are between 200 and 20000.
Download the 3ds max 5 example scene
WARNING: there is a problem with VIZ4 and scripted material. with VIZ4 neon runs in compatibility mode to avoid instability. this causes the 'radiosity override' rollout to be present in the material page. ignore it.