However one problem I'm having is because they are so small they are incredibly difficult to solder. I'm going to need to find some copper I can cut out and adhere to the rings so I can solder the smds to them if I use these. Not exactly sure where i would find something like that.
LEDs look like a good choice, the smart way to do this is simply buy yourself some copper clad and etch a few mini-boards. This is so much easier than fiddling trying to glue things together.
My process for SMD's is this:
1) first wipe the board surface with rubbing alcohol
2) Dab a small bit of flux on the board where you want to solder the component.
3) Place the component on the flux, in proper position
4) Cut a small piece of solder and set the solder near the first terminal
5) Hold the SMD component with a pair of tweezers with one hand, and the other hand heat up the solder and solder the first connection (you should have the solder right near the edge where it would be used)
6) Once the first lead is attached, you don't need to hold the component any longer. Solder the second lead.
I normally don't put the heat right on the component. I heat up the pad right where it touches the board and then "walk" the solder towards the component. It should cover the pad pretty good for it to be a nice joint.