This is something that has bugged me forever and what gets me is that lots of people have no clue WTF I am talking about.
Some lights flash at high frequencies. I find many of them distracting and annoying. This is especially the case in a car at night. The worst are the yellow lights on traffic cones at road works. I don't mean the blinking a couple of times a second type flashing, I mean that the yellow light is actually strobed, probably at around 1KHz... But the new solar powered cats-eyes are strobed too, and many newer cars have pulsed red LED tail lights.
When not moving and looking fixed at one of these lights they look like they are on solidly (if they are much more than around 50Hz). But you don't look in one fixed place. When moving my vision from one object to another, or when in a car and the lights are moving, they leave dotted patterns on my peripheral vision and that drives me mad. They cry our for attention. I find myself looking to the flashing light. Its distracting and annoying and possibly dangerous.
Some lights are not as much of an issue, and in fact I think it is the on/off ratio that is what causes the annoyance. Normal yellow sodium street lights as you get on motorways are probably on for 90% of the time or more and around 100Hz I would guess. They do leave a dotted line on my vision when looking from one place to another, but it is almost solid and the edges are not as sharp. The traffic cone lights however are proper strobed, maybe 1% on and 99% off or something. Even though they may be up near 1KHz, they are probably the most annoying.
Now, there are clearly very different ways people see things. I have tried at great length to explain this to friends and family when in a car with them, and they just can't see it. They swear blind that the lights are on solidly. I have so far only found one person that can see the issue (and they find it annoying too).
Do tell me I am not totally mad!